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Historical Portraits 


The Lives by C. R. L. Fletcher 

Formerly Fellow of All Souls and Magdalen Colleges 

The Portraits chosen by Emery Walker 

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries 
With an Introduction by 

C. F. Bell 

Part II (Vol. IV of the Series) 1800-1850 

. 7. 


At the Clarendon Press 








ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS are due to the following persons and 
corporations for kindly granting permission to photograph 
portraits in their possession : 

His Majesty the King for Robert Banks Jenkinson, second 
Earl of Liverpool, K.G., Edward Thurlow, first Baron Thurlow, 
and Thomas Erskine, first Baron Erskine ; the Lords Com- 
missioners of the Admiralty for Admiral the Hon. Sir W. 
Cornwallis, G.C.B., Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, Bart., 
G.C.B., Admiral Alexander Hood, first Viscount Bridport, 
K.B., and Admiral Sir George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount 
Keith, G.C.B., at Greenwich Hospital ; the Warden and 
Fellows of All Souls College for Reginald Heber, D.D. ; 
Miss Arnold for Dr. Thomas Arnold ; the Rt. Hon. Lord 
Auckland for George Eden, first Earl of Auckland ; Messrs. 
G. Bell & Sons for William Pitt, the younger ; the Trustees 
of the British Museum and the Keeper of Prints and Drawings 
for Maria Edgeworth, and several engravings ; the President 
of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, for Charles Abbott, first 
Baron Tenterden, and William Scott, Lord Stowell ; the Most 
Hon. the Marquis of Crewe, K.G., for John Keats ; the Rt. 
Hon. the Earl of Durham, K.G., G.C.V.O., for John George 
Lambton, first Earl of Durham, G.C.B. ; Lieut. -Col. the Rt. 
Hon. the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine for Thomas Bruce, 
seventh Earl of Elgin ; the Committee of the Garrick Club 

iv NOTE 

for Edmund Kean in ' A New Way to Pay Old Debts ' ; the 
Rt. Hon. the Earl of Ilchester for Elizabeth Vassall Fox, 
Lady Holland ; the Council of the Institution of Civil En- 
gineers for Thomas Telford ; the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Lecon- 
field for George O'Brien Wyndham, third Earl of Egremont ; 
the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Leicester, G.C.V.O., for Thomas 
William Coke, first Earl of Leicester ; John Murray, Esq., 
for George Gordon, sixth Baron Byron, and John Murray ; 
the Trustees and Director of the National Gallery for Emma, 
Lady Hamilton, and Mrs. Siddons ; the Committee of the 
Oriental Club for Francis Rawdon-Hastings, first Marquis of 
Hastings, K.G. ; Captain Pym for Richard Brinsley Sheridan ; 
His Grace the Duke of Portland, K.G., for Lord George 
Cavendish-Bentinck, M.P., and William Henry Cavendish- 
Bentinck, third Duke of Portland, K.G. ; Admiral Sir Ernest 
Rice, K.C.B., for Jane Austen ; His Grace the Duke of 
Richmond, K.G., for Charles Lennox, third Duke of Richmond, 
K.G. ; the President and Council of the Royal Academy for 
Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. ; the Rt. Hon. the Earl of 
St. Germans for Charles, first Marquis and second Earl 
Cornwallis ; the Board of Manufactures for Francis, Lord 
Jeffrey, in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery ; the Rt. 
Hon. the Earl Spencer, K.G., for Georgiana Cavendish, 
Duchess of Devonshire, and John Charles Spencer, Viscount 
Althorp, third Earl Spencer ; Miss Tatlock for Peter de Wint ; 
the Corporation of the Master and Assistants of the Trinity 
House of Leith for Admiral Adam Duncan, first Viscount 
Duncan of Camperdown ; the Rt. Hon. Major Lord Tweed- 
mouth, C.M.G., D.S.O., M.V.O., for Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. ; 


the Syndics of the University Library, Cambridge, for Richard 
Porson ; Miss Ward for Samuel Taylor Coleridge ; and the 
Most Hon. the Marquis of Zetland, K.T., for William 
Wentworth Fitzwilliam, second Earl Fitzwilliam. 

And to the Trustees and Director of the National Portrait 
Gallery for practically the whole of the remaining portraits. 


Horatio Nelson, Viscount 

Nelson . . i 
Adam Duncan, Viscount 

Duncan ... 7 
Charles Middleton, first Baron 

Barham . . 9 
Samuel Hood, first Viscount 

Hood . . .10 

Alexander Hood, first Viscount 

Bridport . . .11 

Charles Conrwallis, second Earl 

Cornwallis. . .13 

Charles James Fox . . 16 

William Pitt. . . 22 

William Petty, first Marquis of 

Lansdowne . -7 

Spencer Perceval . . 30 

Henry Benedict, Cardinal York 33 

Richard Porson 34 

Sir John Moore 37 

Sir Thomas Picton ... 42 

Sir David Baird . 44 

Sir Banastre Tarleton . 47 
Cuthbert Collingwood, first 

Baron Collingwood . 4$ 
Mungo Park . . -49 
Edward Pellew, first Viscount 

Exmouth . . 5 1 

Sir Thomas Troubridge . . 53 

Sir William Cornwallis . . 54 

George Keith Elphinstone . 55 

Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy 57 

William Windham . . 5 8 

Richard Brinsley Sheridan . 61 

Sir Samuel Romilly . 63 

John Fitzgibbon, Earl of Clare 65 

Edward Thurlow, first Baron 

Thurlow .... 67 
Thomas Erskinc, first Baron 

Erskine .... 69 
Charles Abbott, first Baron 

Tenterden. . . 71 
Charles Lennox, third Duke of 

Richmond ... 72 
Henry Dundas, first Viscount 

Melville . . < 73 

Sir Philip Francis ... 77 

Sir Francis Burdett . . 79 
George III . . .80 

Queen Charlotte Sophia . . 85 

Princess Charlotte Augusta . 80 
! Frederick Augustus, Duke of 

York .... 88 
Edward Augustus, Duke of 

Kent and Strathearn . . 91 

Queen Caroline . 9 2 

Queen Adelaide . 94 
Jane Austen . . -95 
Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess 

of Devonshire ... 97 

Emma, Lady Hamilton . . 97 

Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope . 99 
Elizabeth Vassall Fox, Lady 

Holland . . . .100 

Warren Hastings . . 102 
James Harris, first Earl of 

Malmesbury . . 107 
Francis Rawdon-Hasfings, first 

Marquis of Hastings . . 108 

Gilbert Elliot, first Earl of Minto 1 1 1 
Edward Law, first Baron 
Ellenborough . . .112 


VI 1 

Sir Home Riggs Popham 

Sir William Sidney Smith 

Robert Stewart, second Mar- 
quis of Londonderry . 

John Jervis, Earl of St. Vin- 

John Keats . 

Percy Bysshe Shelley . '. 

George Gordon Byron, sixth 
Baron Byron 

Sir Henry Raeburn 

William Blake 

Thomas Bewick 

Thomas Girtin 

George Morland 

Francesco Bartolozzi 

James Gillray 

Sir Humphry Davy 

James Watt . 

George Stephenson 

Sir Joseph Banks . 

Edward Jenner 

Joseph Priestley . 

John Rennie 

Sir William Hcrschel 

Thomas Telford 
George Canning 
Robert Banks Jenkinson second 

Earl of Liverpool 
George IV . 
William Wyndham Grenville, 

Baron Grenville 
Charles Grey, second Earl Grey 
Sarah Siddons 
Edmund Kean 
Sir Walter Scott 
John Constable 
John Flaxman 
Sir Thomas Lawrence 
Sir Francis Legatt Chantrev 
Peter de Wint 
William IV . 

John Scott, first Earl of El- 
don .... 
William Scott, Lord Stowell 







J 59 








John Charles Spencer, third 

Earl Spencer 

William Lamb, second Vis- 
count Melbourne 
Sir Robert Peel 
Henry Grattan 
Daniel O'Connell . 
William Henry Cavendish- 
Bentinck, third Duke of 
Portland .... 
Lord George Bentinck . 
William Eden, first Baron 
Auckland .... 
George Eden, first Earl of 

Auckland . 
Charles Abbot, first Baron 

Colchester . 
William Huskisson 
William Wentworth Fitzwil- 
liam, second Earl Fitzwilliam 
Henry Aldington, first Vis- 
count Sidmouth 
Richard Colley Wellesley, 

Marquis Wellesley 
Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of 

Rowland Hill, first Viscount 


Thomas Graham, Baron 

Lynedoch . 
John George Lambton, first 

Earl of Durham . 
Thomas Chalmers . 
William Cobbett . 
Thomas William Coke, first 

Earl of Leicester 
Sir John Franklin . 
William Wordsworth 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 
Robert Southey . 
Charles Lamb 
Maria Edgeworth . 
George Crabbe 

Winthrop Mackworth Praed '. 
Thomas Campbell . 















Thomas Hood . . .299 
Frances Burney, Madame 

d'Arblay . . . - 300 
John Hookham Frere . . 303 
Frederick Marryat . . 34 

Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey . 305 
Reginald Heber . . . 37 
Jeremy Bentham . . . 38 
Sir James Mackintosh . . 311 
Sydney Smith . . .312 


William Wilberforce . .3*4 
Thomas Arnold . . .316 
Elizabeth Fry . . .318 
Hannah More . . . 3*9 
Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles . 320 
George O'Brien Wyndham, 

third Earl of Egremont . 321 
Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl 

of Elgin . .322 

John Murray . . . 3 2 3 




was the fifth son among eleven children of the Reverend Edmund 
Nelson, Rector of Burnham-Thorpe, Norfolk, and of Catherine, 
daughter of Maurice Suckling, Prebendary of Westminster. The 
Nelsons were an old, respected, but poor Norfolk family, and the 
hero's name, Horatio, came from his godfather and distant relative, 
the second Lord Walpole, Horace Walpole's ' Pigwiggin '. Horatio 
got fair but not very solid foundations for an education at three 
successive schools in the country before his thirteenth year, when he 
was entered on the books of the guard-ship in the Medway commanded 
by his uncle, Captain Suckling, who was Comptroller of the Navy 
and died in 1778. This early patronage was worth much. After a 
short cruise to the West Indies in a merchant ship, Nelson spent 
a year with his uncle, six months in an Arctic expedition, two years 
on the East Indies, and passed for Lieutenant in 1777. In this 
capacity he returned to the West Indies in a frigate, and rapidly 
passed from the command of a brig, 1778, to that of a frigate as post- 
captain, 1779. He returned to England in very ill health in 1780. 
Next year he had a frigate in the North Sea, and went up the Sound, 
and in 1782 in the same ship to Canada and to New York, where he 
came under the favourable notice of Lord Hood, and made friends 
with the future King William IV. He returned to England in 1783 
and went on half pay at the Peace, visited France for a few months, 
and was appointed to the Boreas in 1784. 

He was but twenty-six years of age ; he had seen no fighting, 
except for a few days on an absurd expedition to Nicaragua which' 
ended in failure ; his body was very frail, his nervous system extremely 

H. P. IV 


turned out an unsatisfactory naval officer, and a bitter enemy of his 
stepfather. His five years at home, mostly spent at Burnham, were 
very dull, and his wife, who bore him no children, apparently did 
nothing to enliven them, and had no art to captivate his soaring and 
restless spirit. 

His whole life was changed when he was appointed, in the first days 
of 1793, to the Agamemnon. Henceforth his career belongs to history, 
and in twelve dazzling years he rose to be the incarnation of his 
country's resistance to the French Revolution and Empire. Officially, 
the Agamemnon was in 1793 attached to Hood's fleet blockading 
Toulon ; actually, Nelson was oftenest on detached service on the 
Italian or the African coasts ; and he was off Corsica when Hood 
had to leave Toulon to its fate and join him in the capture of that 
island. How he lost his right eye at the siege of Calvi in 1794 ; how 
he was left under Hotham, after Hood relinquished the Mediterranean 
command ; how he fretted at that inactive Admiral, who might have 
spoiled Napoleon's Italian triumph of 1796 ; how Jervis, who suc- 
ceeded Hotham, was ordered to evacuate the Mediterranean ; and 
how Nelson came to Jervis, after a series of splendid individual feats 
of daring and success, just in time to bear the leading part in the 
battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1797 every one knows these things. 
Nelson had the rear command in that great action, and with his 
74-gun ship, the Captain, alongside the largest Spaniard (the largest 
ship then afloat, the Santissima Trinidad of 130 guns), he was at last 
satisfied and supremely happy. He received a knighthood and flag 
rank (at the age of thirty-nine) in honour of the victory. At the 
attack on Santa Cruz of Teneriffe, which was beaten off with great 
slaughter later in the same year, he lost his arm and had to return 
home on sick leave, but in April, 1798, he was off again in the Vanguard 
to find and beat the French fleet in the Mediterranean. To find them 
was a harder task than to beat them ; was their destination Malta ? 
was it Sicily ? was it Egypt or the Ionian Isles ? Not till the end of 
July could Nelson learn that it was Egypt ; but during the weary 

13 2 


chase up and down the sea he had explained to his captains, ' his band 
of brothers ', as he called them, what to do when the French were 
found. The battle of the Nile, August, 1798, was more complete, 
more decisive, and produced more lasting results than any previous 
sea-fight since 1588, and was eclipsed only by the same victor in his 
last victory. Of course the British fleet was severely crippled in the 
action ; our gallant foes never fought us for nothing, and it was 
superior seamanship and tactics and superior naval tradition, not 
superior bravery, that won the day. Nelson well knew that a fleet 
must be crippled by a great victory. He received a peerage in return, 
a small pension, and several honorary gifts ; but he was again badly 
wounded, on a dangerous place for a man of his temperament the 

Still weak from illness he arrived at Naples, where he was feted 
in the most extraordinary fashion. There, unfortunately for Nelson's 
fame, was the old English Minister, Sir William Hamilton, with his 
too celebrated wife, who had once been his mistress and the mistress 
of others before him. It was not Nelson's first meeting with them ; 
he had touched at Naples in the Agamemnon in 1793. But as Naples 
had now declared war against France, Nelson was instructed to 
render assistance to the little kingdom, and to supervise the blockade 
of the French in Malta at the same time. Under the spell of Lady 
Hamilton, still a beautiful though now a very large woman, of about 
Nelson's own age, Nelson bettered these instructions, and finally met 
the orders of Lord Keith (who had succeeded Jervis in chief command 
on the Mediterranean Station) to come to defend Minorca, with flat 
disobedience. Before this the French had come south in force and 
had driven the wretched Neapolitans flying before them ; the royal 
family had taken refuge on Nelson's fleet and had been by him con- 
veyed to Palermo (December, 1798). In the summer of 1799, the 
French having again withdrawn, Ferdinand, King of Naples, returned 
to his mainland kingdom and hanged some rebels who had gone over 
to the French. The rebel Admiral, in particular, was hung by our 


Admiral's orders, although there is no ground for saying that either 
Nelson or Lady Hamilton exercised any undue influence in the matter, 
or encouraged the King to violate any capitulation. But the Admiralty 
severely reproved Nelson for his disobedience to Keith, and it is 
certain that Lady Hamilton had paralysed his sense of duty and his 
activity. He talked about ' broken health ' and ' the end of his 
career ' ; and indeed he was ill in mind more than in body. The 
extraordinary thing is that Sir William Hamilton never believed that 
anything but a warm friendship existed between his wife and Nelson ; 
he lived with them afterwards in a menage a trois, and died holding 
a hand of each. 

Nelson still pleaded ill health, and their party travelled home 
from Leghorn through Vienna and Dresden, and reached England in 
November, 1800, Lady Hamilton and Nelson displaying far too openly 
on the road their infatuation for each other. This at once led to the 
separation of Nelson from his wife, to whom the Admiral allotted 
half of his own modest income. The other half he entrusted to Lady 
Hamilton for the expenses of their joint household ; a daughter, 
Horatia, whom Nelson secretly acknowledged to be his own, was born 
to Lady Hamilton early in 1801, and in the same month Nelson sailed, 
as Vice-Admiral and Second-in-Command, in the Baltic fleet destined 
to break up the ' Armed Neutrality ' of the Northern Powers. He 
chafed a good deal at the cautious strategy of his chief, Sir Hyde 
Parker ; and, if he had had his way, he would almost certainly have 
captured or destroyed the Russians, as he destroyed the Danes in the 
bloody battle of Copenhagen in April, 1801. He was created a Viscount 
for this victory, but was deeply hurt that the gallant sailors who had 
helped him to win it got no recognition from Addington's Government. 
In July Nelson, in command of a Channel Squadron, endeavoured, 
but failed, to break up the flotilla of flat-bottomed boats collected in 
the Eastern French Channel ports for a threat of invasion. After the 
Peace of Amiens he and the Hamiltons took a house at Merton in 
Surrey, even then almost a suburb of London ; and there, in April, 


1803, Sir William died. War was imminent, and for once in his life 
Nelson wished for peace ; but he sailed, in command of the Mediter- 
ranean station, on board the Victory, on May 20, 1803. 

The story of his twenty-two months' watch outside Toulon without 
ever putting into a port, without half enough frigates (the ' eyes of 
a fleet ') to make scout-work effective, with his own ships rickety 
and leaking, with no refuge from the worst gales nearer than the 
Sardinian coast, and yet without damage, and with hardly a sick man 
in his fleet, is one of the most wonderful in naval history. Spain 
joined France at the end of 1804, and the odds against Nelson must 
have seemed overwhelming. Then came the first (January, 1805) and 
the second (March, 1805) escapes of Villeneuve from Toulon, and the 
story of 1798 to some extent repeated itself the guesses at Villeneuve's 
destination, the anxiety concerning an invasion of Britain, the chase 
up and down the sea, the news that Villeneuve had gone to the West 
Indies ; the swift pursuit once that news was known, the return to 
Europe of both fleets one on the heels of the other. Good critics 
have argued that Nelson should rather have returned to the Channel 
than to Gibraltar, and that his eyes were too much fixed on the Medi- 
terranean ; that in fact he failed to see to the bottom of Napoleon's 
schemes, and there is probably much truth in the criticism. But, 
be that as it may, in mid-August Nelson, knowing that Villeneuve 
had gone and shut himself up in Cadiz, and that for the moment 
no further combination was to be feared, was able to spend three 
weeks on shore in England, and to patch the leaks of his beloved 
Victory. Then on September I4th he sailed to his triumph and death 
at Trafalgar. 

' Nelson's private character was clouded by one insane infatuation 
for a worthless woman, but it was characteristic of him that he crowned 
that woman with the halo of a saint.' In every other respect he was 
the beau ideal of a national hero. 




Admiral, son of Alexander Duncan of Lundie, entered the Navy at 
fifteen, and saw his first active service in the Seven Years' War, but 
had no special opportunities of distinction until the last years of the 
war, when he was present at the captures both of Belleisle and Havana. 
He had just obtained post rank, and he commanded Keppel's flagship 
at the former of these operations. Keppel was in fact his great 
patron, and if his connexion with Keppel counted sometimes in his 
favour, there were longer periods when it would tell the other way. 
Favour still counted for much in the Navy, and it was probably 
Duncan's marriage with a lady of the house of Arniston that first 
brought him into serious notice. In the Monarch in 1780 he took 
part in Rodney's relief of Gibraltar, and in the destruction of Langara's 
squadron off Cape St. Vincent, and in the Blenheim in Howe's final 
relief of the Rock in 1782. He attained flag rank in 1787, but did 
not hoist his flag until, as a full admiral, he received the command 
in the North Sea early in 1795. This necessitated the strictest watch 
of the Dutch and Flemish harbours, Holland having now been com- 
pelled to throw in her lot with the French Republic. To create this 
new station, ships-of-the-line in increasing numbers had to be detached 
from the Channel fleet, which was proportionally weakened. The 
tides and shoals, and the weather customary in the North Sea, made 
the blockade one of the hardest of services to a man already advanced 
in years, and in 1797 there was added to these difficulties the mutiny 
of almost the entire fleet at Yarmouth as well as of that at the Nore. 
Duncan was as firm as Jervis in quelling sedition and infinitely more 
beloved by his men, over whom his personal ascendancy counted for 


very much. The story is well known how during the mutiny he, 
with the only two ships that remained faithful, deceived the Dutch 
in the Texel Roads and kept up a pretence of blockade by signalling 
to an imaginary fleet outside. He kept the enemy safely locked up 
until the autumn and when they at last broke blockade, with a large 
force of troops destined for the invasion of Ireland, the mutiny was at 
an end, and Duncan overtook them steering to the south on October n, 
1797, off Camperdown. The numbers engaged were equal, sixteen 
ships-of-the-line upon each side, but in weight of gunnery Duncan 
had a distinct superiority over the Dutch Admiral Winter. Duncan 
got the wind, broke the enemy's line, got between him and the shore, 
and engaged him ship for ship without attempt at concentration, and 
the result was an exceedingly bloody action. It closed with a total 
defeat for the Dutch, who lost nine battleships and several frigates. 
The merit of it was all the greater as it came so opportunely after the 
mutiny, and was the second great naval victory within the year, 
that of Cape St. Vincent having been fought eight months before. 
The immediate effect was that we were enabled to reduce our North 
Sea fleet, and ships were thus set free for the reoccupation of the 
Mediterranean. Duncan received a Viscountcy, and many years 
afterwards his son was created Earl of Camperdown. The old Admiral 
saw no further service after his victory, and died suddenly in 1804. 


From the whole-length portrait by Sir H. Raeburn, R A , 
at Trinity House, Leith 


From the engraving by Mdlle. Bourlier after the 
drawing by John Downman 


From the portrait by Sir Joshua Re3'nolds, P R A. 
in the Gallery at Greenwich Hospital 


P'rom the portrait by L. F. Abbo'.t in the 
National Portrait Gallery 

faa/>. 8 



Admiral, was the son of Robert Middleton, a cadet of the family of 
Middleton of that ilk in Kincardineshire, of which the most famous 
member was the Covenanting and Royalist General John, first Earl 
of Middleton. By his mother's side Charles was a Dundas of Arniston. 
He entered the Navy, and saw his first service in the War of the 
Austrian Succession, was a post-captain in the Seven Years' War, 
and distinguished himself greatly in the West Indies. He held minor 
naval office under North, and, after the Peace of Versailles, obtained 
a seat in Parliament during Pitt's first Ministry. He attained flag- 
rank in 1787 and a Junior Lordship of the Admiralty in 1794. On 
the resignation of Lord Melville in the spring of 1805 he was created 
a peer and First Lord of the Admiralty. 

This, almost the last, instance of the appointment of a pro- 
fessional sailor to the foremost naval post in the world, 1 was perhaps 
merely a job of Barham's cousin Melville, or of Pitt to please Melville. 
But, job or not, it was more than justified by its results. Barham 
was in his seventy-ninth year, but as clear-sighted as ever, and it fell 
to him to direct the patient strategy of the blockade, so admirably 
carried out by Cornwallis, and the final blow which, administered by 
Nelson, saved England at Trafalgar. The French Admiral, Villeneuve, 
having been chased by Nelson to the \Vest Indies, and not relishing 
the prospect of fighting him there, was slipping back to Europe. 
Nelson had sent a swift brig to England with the news, but was not 
sure what port in Europe might be the Frenchman's destination 
The brig on her homeward voyage sighted Villeneuve's fleet and her 

1 The Duke of Clarence was Lord High Admiral, without a seat in the Cabinet, in 


captain brought the news to Barham ; and the old sailor, reckoning 
from the position of the sight that the enemy was making for Ferrol 
or Corunna, at once dispatched Sir Robert Calder to cut him off west 
of Finisterre ; and this was the beginning of the great naval strategy 
that culminated on October 21, 1805. In the Coalition, which came 
into office on the death of Pitt at the beginning of 1806, Barham had 
no place. He died in his eighty-seventh year in 1813. 


Admiral, eldest son of a Prebendary of Wells, and brother of Alexander 
Hood, Viscount Bridport, entered the Navy in 1741, and served 
successively in the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' 
War, the War of the American Rebellion, and the Great War. His 
first regular command was the Bideford, a frigate, in 1757 ; he attained 
flag rank in 1780, and in command of a squadron joined Rodney in 
the West Indies at the beginning of 1781. Admiral Graves, whose 
second Hood then was, failed to relieve Cornwallis at Yorktown and 
Hood incurred some blame in consequence of having failed to under- 
stand some new tactical manoeuvres of his chief. Hood was undoubtedly 
a rather cantankerous subordinate, but his exploit in seizing the 
Island of St. Christopher in February, 1782, was a fine one. He won 
great glory in Rodney's victory off Les Saintes in April, 1782, and 
obtained an Irish peerage in consequence ; he defeated Charles James 
Fox at the famous Westminster election of 1784, and was a Lord of 
the Admiralty in Pitt's Government, 1788. On the outbreak of the 
Great War he got the Mediterranean Command, and occupied the 
harbour of Toulon from August to December, 1793, in company with 
the Spanish fleet. Toulon was already in insurrection against the 


French Convention and had hoisted the Royalist flag, but its citizens 
liked very little the prospect of keeping it flying with English and 
Spanish help. Hood landed such seamen and marines as he could 
spare, and took possession of the forts. When the army of the 
Convention drew near the city and began a regular siege, and when 
Bonaparte seized one of these forts, Hood resolved to withdraw, to tow 
away such French ships as he could secure, and to destroy the rest. 
This destruction, entrusted to the Spaniards, was very imperfectly 
accomplished and fourteen ships were left to become the nucleus of 
the French Mediterranean fleet. Hood then sailed to Corsica, of 
which, in conjunction with John Moore and David Dundas, he reduced 
the ports during the first seven months of 1794. He used extremely 
plain language to his Government for failing to send him reinforcements, 
and the result was his own recall, and the disastrous substitution for 
him of the inefficient Hotham. Hood, on his return to England, was 
made a Viscount in the British peerage, and died at the age of ninety- 
two, Governor of Greenwich Hospital. 

In spite of the fact that no one great success stands to his name, 
Hood was a true forerunner of Nelson, who had the highest opinion of 
him as strategist, tactician, and bold fighter. 




Admiral, was the younger brother of Samuel, Viscount Hood ; both 
entered the Navy in the same year, 1741. He obtained his first com- 
mand in 1756, commanded a frigate in Hawke's great action at Qui- 
beron in 1759, reached flag rank on the same day as his brother, 
1780, helped Howe to relieve Gibraltar, 1782, but saw no other active 
service in the American War. He sat in Pitt's first Parliament 1784, 


and was appointed second in command in the Channel when the 
Great War began. He received an Irish peerage for his share in 
Howe's action of the ' Glorious First of June ', 1794, and commanded 
the fleet which took the unfortunate expedition to Quiberon in the 
summer of 1795. He ought to have blown Villaret-de-Joyeuse's ships 
(twelve to his own fourteen) out of the water when he met them off 
lie de Groix at the end of June ; but he was over-cautious and only 
took three Frenchmen, yet received an English peerage for this victory. 
He ought to have cut the French expedition to Ireland in pieces at 
the end of 1796, or, rather, ought never to have allowed it to leave 
Brest ; but he entirely failed to grasp the situation, and it was the 
weather, not Lord Bridport, that drove the French back. He was 
called upon to deal with the mutiny at Spithead in April and May, 
1797, but it was Lord Howe rather than himself who succeeded in 
putting it down. His recent experiences convinced Bridport that 
stricter watch must be kept upon Brest, and he did begin, in a tentative 
manner, the practice of a permanent blockade there in the year 1797, 
but he allowed Bruix with the Brest fleet to elude him and to get into 
the Mediterranean for a summer cruise in 1799. In 1800 he retired 
from active service. 

Bridport was not such a popular hero, nor such a great sailor, 
as his brother Hood, and Captain Mahan is a very severe critic of his 
lack of energy and initiative. He acquiesced in, if he did not actually 
favour, the concentration of the Channel fleet inside Spithead instead 
of at the Frenchman's water-door off Ushant. 




General, and Governor-General of India, was the son of the fifth 
Lord and first Earl Cornwallis, of an old Suffolk family, and of Elizabeth 
Townshend, daughter of Walpole's brother-in-law and colleague. 
Thus Cornwallis was an East Anglian to the bone. He was educated 
at Eton, entered the Army in 1756, and served on Granby's staff in 
the Seven Years' War with distinction and honour. He entered the 
House of Commons in 1760, and succeeded to his earldom two years 
later. He held various minor offices in successive Governments, 
although, after North's advent to power, he became a constant 
opponent of all measures against America. Nevertheless he could 
not refuse the command which, with the local rank of Lieutenant- 
General, was offered him in that country in 1776. He co-operated 
with Howe in the capture of New York and the reduction of the 
State of New Jersey, won the battle of Brandywine River, and occupied 
Philadelphia. In 1778, after a voyage to England, he returned as 
second in command to Clinton, but can hardly be acquitted of over- 
stepping the limits within which a subordinate may rightly act on 
his own discretion ; undoubtedly he committed his chief to operations 
in Virginia which too much divided the British forces. Cornwallis 
was again in England (at his wife's deathbed) in 1779, but returned 
to the war, and, after the capture of Charleston in May, 1780, began 
his campaign to the northward for the reduction of North Carolina 
and Virginia. His defeats of Gates at Camden, and of the far abler 
Greene at Guildford Court-House in 1781, are greatly to his credit ; 
but in the autumn of the same year he was surrounded, outnumbered, 
and compelled to surrender at Yorktown. 


In spite of his failure in America Cornwallis's subsequent career 
shows how much trust statesmen of all parties could still repose in 
a man of no shining talents but of a lofty sense of honour and duty. 
If soldierly advice was to be given to a Cabinet, a mutiny to be 
quelled, Ireland to be pacified, the defence of our coasts against French 
invasion to be organized, a Peace of Amiens to be negotiated, or 
India to be governed, they sent, quite as a matter of course, for 
Cornwallis. He would make mistakes and often bad ones, but he had 
infinite doggedness and patience, and would set to work to undo those 
mistakes. He cared nothing for honours, much for the honour of 
serving : he laughed at the idea of the Garter ribbon ' across his fat 
belly ' ; his heart was with his boy at Eton, or in the stubble-fields of 
Suffolk. But he would go whither he was told to go, and would 
always give England of his best. 

In 1786, sorely against his will, Cornwallis was persuaded to 
accept the Governor-Generalship of India, an office which Shelburne 
had vainly pressed upon him four years earlier. No man not in the 
first rank of statesmen of genius ever did such sterling service as he 
both in the field and in the administration of that country. He was 
neither a Hastings nor a Wellesley, but he had the advantage, denied 
to the former, and only nominally possessed by the latter, of being 
his own Commander-in-Chief. He set to work to organize districts 
and criminal and civil courts, he separated the functions of collector 
of revenue from those of district judge, and thus he built steadily 
upon the foundations laid by Hastings. He set on foot a new system 
of land revenue, with fixed rents for the zemindars and fixity of tenure 
for the ryots ; it was called the ' permanent settlement ', and, though 
it afterwards broke down, it was admirably planned. He tried hard 
to get his Directors to take into their pay King's troops, in the place 
of the ' Company's Europeans ', which were recruited by very unsatis- 
factory methods and consisted of very poor material. These excellent 
administrative and military reforms were interrupted by the second 
Mysoor War, from the shadow of which Cornwallis had perhaps too 


From the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., in the possession of the Earl of St. Germans 

at Port Eliot 

Fa ce p. 14 


long averted his eyes. He took the command in person against Tippoo 
in 1791, and made two successive advances (May, 1791 ; January, 
1792) into Mysoor. Starvation compelled a retreat on the former 
occasion, but on the latter he was able to advance to the gates of 
Seringapatam, and, after storming Tippoo's entrenched camp, to 
effect a lodgement on the island. Perhaps it was a mistake on Corn- 
wallis's part to accept the terms of surrender, or any terms which 
allowed Tippoo to retain any part of his dominions. But he left India 
at peace when he returned home in October, 1793. He received the 
Marquisate for his services. 

The estimation in which he was held was shown by the offer, 
made by the Austrian Government in 1794, to put him in command 
of all the forces of the Allies against the French Republic. This he 
wisely refused, but he accepted in 1795 a seat in the Cabinet as Master 
of the Ordnance, and in that office made preparations for coast defence 
against an expected invasion. He was very nearly sent to India 
again in 1797 ; but Ireland seemed to be in the greater peril, and 
accordingly he went thither as Viceroy and Commander-in-Chief in 
the summer of 1798. He held these offices for the three critical years 
till 1801. He landed in Ireland just after Vinegar Hill had been fought. 
He was, like Castlereagh, a pro-Catholic, and utterly refused to look 
upon the Irish rebellion as a religious war ; he considered it to be 
purely ' Jacobin ', and underrated the nationalist and separatist 
elements which lay at its root. He punished the ringleaders severely, 
but spared their dupes ; he received the surrender of the little French 
force that had landed under Humbert, and he helped Castlereagh to 
carry the Union. Neither of them enjoyed the jobbery and traffic 
by which it had to be carried, but each stuck to his task, and Corn- 
wallis insisted on the fulfilment of the compacts which Castlereagh 
had concluded. He resigned, with Pitt, on the failure of their plan 
to force through the emancipation of the Catholics. Cornwallis's 
mission to Amiens resulted in the conclusion of the short-lived Peace 
of 1802-3 ; he did his best, but diplomacy was not in his line, and he 


was perhaps too ready to yield on such questions as that of Malta. 
In his sixty-sixth year he was again sent to India, to undo the work 
of the ' great pro-consul ' Wellesley, whose ' forward ' policy and 
Imperialist ideas had terrified his Directors and outrun the wishes 
even of Pitt and Castlereagh. He landed with instructions to conclude 
a peace, almost on any terms, with the Mahratta chiefs, and died 
within three months of his landing. 



politician, was the third son of Henry Fox, first Lord Holland, and of 
Caroline Lennox, daughter of the second Duke of Richmond. He 
was thus descended in the fourth generation from King Charles II. 
His father's foolish indulgence of him in his boyhood knew no bounds, 
and had paved the way for his political and moral shipwreck even 
before he had left Eton. The marvel was that not even this indulgence 
or this shipwreck could sour Fox's invincible sweetness of temper, 
or render him less dear to his private friends. Fox became at Eton, 
and at Hertford College, Oxford, a good scholar, although hardly one 
of the highest rank ; and by his passion for reading the best authors 
he maintained and improved to the end of his life his wide knowledge 
of ancient and modern literature. When he chose to apply himself 
to any subject he could be immensely industrious, and could find 
delight in industry. He was also an open-air boy and man, loving 
sport, both healthy and unhealthy. Whatever his vices, and they 
were many, they were never frivolous nor merely ' fashionable '. 
Gambling was his worst passion, and at this il chassait de race ; the 
figures of the sums he lost at hazard, of the continuous days and 
nights that he spent over it, sound nowadays almost incredible. His 
faithful affection from 1785 to the end of his life for his mistress, 

From the portrait by Karl Anton Hickel in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 1 6 


Mrs. Armistead, whom he married in 1795, merits more than pardon. 
In truth there was, throughout his career, much of the boy scapegrace, 
to whom much could be forgiven, about Fox. 

And much more might have been forgiven had Fox not taken up 
politics in very much the same spirit as he took up the dice-box, for 
a distraction from the serious business of pleasure ; not, however, 
as his infinitely worse father had taken them up, to make a fortune 
out of them by corrupt means. Fox's hands, from first to last, were 
as clean from corruption as those of his great rival Pitt. He entered 
Parliament at nineteen and proved himself an able, if at first rather 
a flippant, debater. A ' great ' orator, in the sense in which Sheridan 
and Chatham were great, he never became, and he was hampered by 
his ungraceful fat person, his roguish black eyes, and a certain uncouth 
bearing ; but he was an acute reasoner, and could hit hard and with 
effect. Far too often, however, when one considers his long history 
in Opposition, his indiscretions and his rash over-statements marred 
his own cause ; on notable occasions they actually wrecked his party. 
He was a Tory under North, and Junior Lord in North's Admiralty 
Board at twenty-one ; but the shrewd King took an early dislike 
to him, especially after his opposition to the Royal Marriage Act, over 
which he began his friendship with Burke, and he was dismissed in 
1774. He gaily threw himself into the ranks of the Opposition, and 
began to denounce every measure of the American War. To the 
extreme Whig view upon this and kindred subjects he remained con- 
stant throughout his life ; but it was not in him to give that steady- 
attendance in Parliament, that attention to details, which would make 
him an effective ' captain of his side '. Indeed it is a tenable view that 
Fox was too good as well as too bad to be a sound Whig, and he certainly 
had been a very unsound Tory. A man who, when professional leader 
of the Opposition, disappears into Italy in the company of a charming 
lady (1788) without leaving an address behind him, may be deemed 
neither a very trustworthy ally nor a very dangerous opponent. 

Yet dangerous Fox was in one sense. He did not found, but he 

H. P. IV C 


carried to a length never previously reached, the bad political habit 
of publicly rejoicing over the defeats of his own countrymen when 
they were engaged in a painful and unsuccessful war, and the habit 
of doing this under the specious names of ' humanity ' and ' freedom '. 
And the apotheosis of Fox, which his unscrupulous nephew, the third 
Lord Holland, preached after his death, stamped this evil habit with 
the seal of approval as part of the stock-in-trade of every politician 
in opposition. In the management of the American War, as con- 
ducted by Germaine and Sandwich, in the conduct of the Great War 
by Pitt, Dundas, and Addington, there was much which might well 
invite criticism ; but Fox as critic passed all lawful and reasonable 
bounds. He loved popularity and was carried away by it ; it strength- 
ened and fed his own absurd but firm conviction that peoples are 
usually in the right and Governments are nearly always in the wrong ; 
but he went to a great length when before the war was ended he 
adopted the colours of the American rebels as those of the Whig 
party in home politics. For the brief Ministry of Rockingham* in 
1782 he acted as Foreign Secretary, and hastened to give effect to his 
principles by the grant of Home Rule to Ireland and by the prepara- 
tions for the grant of independence to America ; but he proved such 
an ill negotiator with the French, such an awkward colleague to his 
equally intractable fellow-Secretary, Shelburne, that he failed to bring 
the Peace of Versailles to a conclusion before Rockingham's death 
broke up the Government. Then, against Shelburne, he made the 
first of his terrible mistakes by the coalition with his old enemy North, 
whom a year or two back he had proposed to impeach. Even to the 
' man in the street ' this seemed to be a reckless gambling away of 
personal, as well as political, honour ; and it unfortunately gave a bad 
name to the word ' Coalition ', which in itself may often denote a 
desirable political step. India had been one of Fox's themes of 
denunciation from his early days ; he had graduated in this school 
by attacking Clive, and Burke and Francis easily led him to proceed 
to the attack upon Hastings ; the failure of his own India Bill (really 


of Burke's drafting), and the fact that it toppled down the Coalition, 
spurred him on. Fox's tactics were utterly at fault in the early days 
of 1784, when Pitt had taken office with a heavy majority against 
himself ; Fox threw himself and his party away by his violence ; already 
he had offended the King both by his deliberate attacks upon the 
powers which the very conventions of the constitution left to the 
crown, and by the fact that he had become the sworn friend of 
the Prince of Wales, as fellow-rake and fellow-gambler. Here one is 
tempted to pause before allowing to Fox the usual praise of sim- 
plicity of character and disinterestedness. For what purpose, with 
what standard of honour, can such a friendship with such a man 
have been begun and carried on ? Fox was no stripling when it 
began ; he was thirteen years older than the Prince, who as a lad was 
by no means without good impulses. The imputation of having con- 
tributed to make that Prince into the George IV of history is indeed 
a heavy burden for Fox's memory to bear. King George III was 
right in hating the man who encouraged his son's extravagance, 
debauchery, and unfilial conduct. 

During this period, 1784-92, Fox opposed with equal recklessness 
all Pitt's measures, most of which were essentially measures of pure 
and wise Liberalism ; his Bills for free trade with Ireland ; his scheme 
of Parliamentary Reform (in the essential details, not in the principle) ; 
his wise commercial treaty with France (which country Fox, so soon 
to sing another tune, now described as the ' natural enemy ' of Britain) ; 
above all his Regency Bill and the excessively Whiggish restrictions 
it contained. It was the foolish ultra-Tory attitude of Fox on this 
Bill that caused his delighted rival to exclaim ' I'll unwhig the gentle- 
man for the rest of his life '. With equal inconsistency Fox quarrelled 
with Pitt in 1791 for scenting from afar the dangers threatening 
Europe from the huge despotism of Russia ; and, when Pitt found 
that he could not carry his Cabinet with him into resistance to Russian 
greed, Fox quarrelled with him again, because Pitt withdrew from his 
warlike attitude. When, on the other hand, Fox brought forward 

c 2 


the one useful and constructive measure of his own life, the Libel Act 
of 1792, he received the fullest support from his rival. With the 
exception of the September massacres and the executions in the 
subsequent Reign of Terror, Fox approved, or found excuses for, all 
the worst excesses of the French Revolution ; he had already set 
a very bad example to responsible statesmen by declaring the revolt 
of the Gardes franfaises in July 1789, and their attack on the Bastille, 
to be the ' greatest and best event that had happened in the history 
of the world '. The result was that he broke up for good the unity 
of his own party, Burke being the first to declare their ' friendship 
at an end ' ; and all the reasonable Whigs joined Pitt. When he 
saw the result of his action, Fox probably decided to abandon politics 
as a serious pursuit ; although he frequently came to the House and 
delivered effective blows, both at the principles and the practices of 
Pitt's Government, although he declared that there was ' no motion 
which Pitt could propose which he would not oppose ', he no longer 
expected to be anything beyond a vox clamantis. For this unpatriotic 
conduct no excuse can really be made ; but Mr. Fortescue surely 
errs when he compares Fox to Byron, as thenceforth laying himself 
out to offend and shock the susceptibilities of his countrymen, and 
when he speaks of his attitude as a ' pose ' ; certainly he goes too far 
when he says that Fox, like Byron, assumed this pose ' from sheer 
bitterness of heart and because he had lost his self-respect ', that like 
Mirabeau he ' mourned over the irretrievable ruin of his character '. 
Now Fox ought, no doubt, to have mourned over this, but it is per- 
missible to doubt whether mourning entered into his nature at all ; 
and surely ' pose ' never entered into it. It would be perhaps truer 
to say that, here as always, his light-hearted reckless temper, and 
his pleasure in dealing shrewd blows, were the impelling forces. How 
far he believed in the ' Radical ' creed he had taken up is another 
matter ; like Sheridan, he ' was not naturally of the stuff you make 
Whigs of ', and he seems to have been rather a theoretical sympathizer 
with democracy than a democrat at heart. But he saw in that creed 


a most excellent stick with which to crack the crowns of his political 
rivals, and he thoroughly enjoyed cracking them. 

In 1795 his marriage added much to his private happiness, although 
it was not publicly declared till 1802 ; and from 1797 till the Peace of 
Amiens he hardly attended Parliament at all. A visit to Paris during 
the Peace and a presentation to First Consul Bonaparte somewhat 
unsettled his previous views as to the essential wickedness of England 
and the essential virtue of France in the late struggle ; and when war 
began again in 1803 Fox attended the House more regularly, and 
denounced the Government of Addington on nearly all, but not quite 
all, its reasons for renewing the war. At the same time, in a quiet 
kind of way he may have wished Pitt back at the helm of State, once 
the Second War had begun ; Pitt at least would be worth opposing ; 
of Addington, Fox said ' anything but fools, I can't stand fools '. 
Pitt, coming back to power for his own gallant ' Hundred Days ' in 
May, 1804, bravely offered to give Fox the Foreign Office, an amazing 
piece of magnanimity and self-effacement on his part ; but the King 
utterly refused to admit him. A second offer, and a second attempt 
to bend George III as late as July, 1805, met with the same answer 
from the King, but with a much less magnanimous answer from Fox 
himself. When Pitt died, in January, 1806, Grenville found to his 
astonishment that the old King's objections were withdrawn ; and 
Fox, at fifty-seven, became once more Foreign Secretary for the last 
eight months of his life. He made a very good one, though even 
then he began by fancying that he could hold out the olive-branch to 
Napoleon, who was at the zenith of his pride and power. Scott's 
immortal epitaph records, better than anything else, how swiftly Fox 
turned, dying of dropsy as he was, to take up Pitt's position, the only 
position possible for Great Britain at that hour, how he 

Stood to his country's glory fast, 
And nailed her colours to the mast. 

Almost his last act was the knitting up again of the closest relations 
with Russia, who had yet to fight Eylau and Friedland before she 


yielded. From July Fox's disease made rapid strides, and he died 
in September. 

No man with Fox's record behind him should be allowed to wear 
patriotic laurels on the strength of six months of patriotic activity 
when no other course remained open to him. To call Fox a patriot 
would be to justify Dr. Johnson's terrible definition of that word 
which cannot be quoted here. The best that can be said of him 
must be to praise his talents, his zeal for literature, his good temper, 
his warm heart, his buoyant spirit. These qualities, or else some 
magnetic power, known to his contemporaries but unknown to us, 
caused him to be forgiven by them more than it is possible for later 
generations to forgive him. 



statesman, was the second son of the great Earl of Chatham and of 
Hester Grenville. He was born at Hayes in Kent, in the year of 
victories his father's victories. He was educated at home till he 
went, in his fifteenth year, to Pembroke, Cambridge, where he became 
a good classical scholar, and showed taste for mathematics also. He 
took his degree in 1776, was called to the Bar in 1780, entered the 
House of Commons in 1781 as a follower of Shelburne, refused minor 
office in Rockingham's Administration, and spoke in favour of Parlia- 
mentary Reform, shorter Parliaments, and measures against bribery. 
He became Chancellor of the Exchequer under Shelburne, refused the 
Treasury on that Minister's fall, but accepted it, together with the 
Chancellorship of the Exchequer, in December, 1783, in the teeth of 
the large majority in the Commons which was at the command of the 
Coalition Government. He was then not quite twenty-five years old. 
His skill in waiting to dissolve till the end of March 1784, by which 


From a photograph of the portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, R.A., in William Pitt by J. Holland Rose 

(G. Bell & Sons, Ltd.) 

Face p. 22 


time the Coalition had become utterly hateful to the nation, was 
a wonderful proof of his self-restraint and self-confidence. He then 
entered upon seventeen years of unbroken power, with large majorities 
at his back. For the first eight or nine of these years the golden 
age seemed to be at hand ; serious steps were taken towards free 
trade, the debt was largely reduced, the revenue system was simplified, 
the government of India was put upon a sound footing, a commercial 
treaty was concluded with France, measures were introduced for the 
pacification of clamorous Ireland, and for Parliamentary Reform ; 
these were defeated for the time, but would have gradually made 
their way, under Pitt's wise leadership, if peace had continued. Pitt 
was a consummate parliamentary manager, and even his mistakes, 
such as the permission of the impeachment of Hastings, were due to 
his skill in gauging the temper of the House of Commons. The 
prosperity of the country was increasing at a fabulous rate, and this, 
together with the well-founded confidence of ' the City ' in Pitt's 
integrity and ability, was to stand England in good stead in the dark 
days that were coming. Little clouds from abroad drifted across the 
sky, but the growth of French influence in Holland, 1787, was ably 
checked by Pitt's alliance with the United Provinces and Prussia, 
1788 ; Spain, who in 1789 had been making a fuss about Vancouver, 
was compelled to take her hands off it ; only Pitt's prescient fear of 
the increase of Russian power in the Near East was rendered ineffectual, 
and the Minister suffered a rebuff when he proposed to take the step 
of armed intervention to check it, 1790-1. 

All this time Pitt called himself a Whig, while in truth he was 
shedding, one by one, the essential prejudices and distinctive marks 
of Whiggery. He was taking the wind out of the sails of any reason- 
able Opposition, and ought by rights to have reaped the fruits of his 
skill. But ' it is the business of an Opposition to oppose ', and there 
were, of course, plenty of discontented politicians, who, headed by 
Fox, would oppose any measure that Pitt could produce. When the 
King became temporarily insane in 1788 they thought their time was 


come, and, in their eagerness for office, they wrecked their own game, 
and alienated from themselves not only the King but all the sober part 
of the nation ; Pitt was left stronger than ever after the recovery of 
George III. 

But the change was at hand. From the upheaval in France in 
1789 the Minister had, perhaps too ostentatiously, averted his eyes ; 
as late as the late winter of 1792 he believed we ' might look forward 
to fifteen years of peace ', and also he had, ever since he came into 
office, paid far too little attention to the righting services of Great 
Britain. Thus when he was compelled, at the beginning of 1793, to 
accept war with France on behalf of our oldest ally Holland, he was 
utterly unprepared for it. Do what he might afterwards, he was 
never able to overtake the arrears, to undo the consequences of this 
neglect. He never grasped the meaning of the Revolution ; he never 
believed that France could hold out. Primarily he thought of the 
war as a nuisance, which hindered his reforms and seriously encum- 
bered his finances. Out of it, perhaps, some profit could be drawn 
in the shape of colonies and trade, and it must be conducted as cheaply 
as possible. Peace should be sought on every possible occasion, and, 
even if it were not sought in earnest, the Opposition must be made 
to believe that he, Pitt ,was by no means averse to peace. The details 
of warlike strategy must be left to the specialist (such a specialist !), 
Henry Dundas, and must always be conditioned by the state of 
the Exchequer. The results of such policy on the military history 
of Great Britain are too well known to need recapitulation here. 
After close study of them Mr. Fortescue has drawn only too true an 
indictment against Pitt. 

But there is something to be said upon the other side, and it is 
this. Bad War Minister as Pitt was, it seems probable that no other 
Minister could have pulled the country through those disastrous years 
at all. No one less trusted by the British merchants could have 
afforded to see the shares in the National Debt, called ' consols ', 
standing at half their nominal price, consols being ' Billy Pitt's ' 


own creation, his eldest and dearest child. No other Minister would 
have been allowed to lavish such sums as he lavished upon allies. 
No other Minister could have dealt so firmly yet so mercifully with the 
wicked and unpatriotic sympathies with France which were blown 
up by Radical agitators. No one else could have dealt so well with 
the famine and the distress that the war produced. The pilot's 
health and heart were broken, but he weathered the storm. To the 
storm from France was added the storm from Ireland, and Pitt met 
this by carrying the Union, which quieted it for the time, and would 
have lulled it for ever if his own view had prevailed and if Catholic 
emancipation had been allowed to form part of the Bill. When the 
prejudices of the British people and of the King made this impossible, 
the pilot left the poop for a time (1801), and allowed a temporary 
peace with France to be made. When he returned to the helm in 
1804, if the horizon abroad was darker than ever, the full extent of 
the danger was now grasped by every one. If the Army was still 
too small, the land strategy still misunderstood, the Navy was supreme 
on all seas ; the nation was infinitely richer, infinitely more united 
than before, and for its riches and its union, if not for its naval vic- 
tories, it owed the very deepest debt of gratitude to Pitt. Only in the 
House of Commons a few implacable enemies remained ; in his last 
twenty months of power these were able to weaken his hand, to draw 
friends away from him, and to hasten his death before he had reached 
his forty-seventh birthday. But he lived to hear of Trafalgar. 

As an orator Pitt possessed the high gifts of stately simplicity 
and perfectly lucid argument ; he was at his best when he was cham- 
pioning some noble cause, such as the abolition of the slave trade ; 
he was almost equally good when he was expounding an intricate 
budget, or trying to convert his hearers to the doctrines of Adam 
Smith, whom he had studied diligently. His assumption of office 
with the confidence of the King and nation in 1783 was one of the 
most daring things in parliamentary history, and it was the first step 
in the overthrow of the Whig oligarchy, into whose coffin he drove 


so many of the final nails. As a debater his temper was almost 
perfect, and his magnanimity to his worst opponents was most striking. 
As leader in the Cabinet he suffered from a certain coldness and aloof- 
ness in dealing with his colleagues, for he was not a man of unreserved 
confidences. In private life he was the most genial and charming 
of companions and loved to romp with children. Though his personal 
income was until 1792 only three hundred a year, he refused sinecure 
after sinecure, and his lofty purity set a standard of inestimable value 
to English public life. When in 1792 George III compelled him to 
accept the Lord-Wardenship of the Cinque Ports, worth 3,000, with 
Walmer Castle as a residence, he made the office anything but a 
sinecure ; during the invasion scare he put his long legs into jack- 
boots as Colonel of the Cinque Ports Volunteers, and looked assiduously 
to the coast defences of his district. His official salary was large, but 
this great financier was incapable of dealing with domestic accounts, 
and he died deep in debt ; as early as 1796 he had felt himself unable 
to marry his only known love, Eleanor Eden, on account of his poverty 
and debts. In his last three years he had his clever and eccentric 
niece, Lady Hester Stanhope, to manage his house for him, but her 
subsequent history does not warrant the supposition that she afforded 
him any relief from financial embarrassments. His health, delicate 
in his childhood and apparently restored by Dr. Addington's strange 
prescription of much port wine, began to decline again before the 
close of his first Ministry ; he continued the doctor's prescription, 
not to his benefit, throughout his life, though the stories of his drunken- 
ness are mere Whig fables. The resolutions of the House of Commons 
against his friend Lord Melville (Dundas) in the spring of 1805 were 
the first severe shock that he suffered since his resumption of office ; 
before the end of the year he was very ill, and those who saw him could 
read on his face the ' Austerlitz look ', for indeed it was the news of 
that great victory of Napoleon that proved to be the final blow. ' My 
country ! how I leave (varia lectio ' love ') my country ! ' are said to 
have been his last words. He had lived for her, and he died for her. 



is better known as the second Earl of Shelburne. He was the son 
of John Fitzmaurice and of Mary Fitzmaurice, and was descended 
from the famous Sir William Petty of Charles II's days. His father 
assumed the name of Petty in 1751, and received the Earldom of 
Shelburne two years later. 

Shelburne left an autobiographical sketch of the first twenty 
years of his own life, with an incomplete note on the events of the 
year 1762 which first brought him into political notoriety. These 
fragments have been incorporated into the Life of Shelburne by Lord 
Fitzmaurice, first published in 1875-6, and again, after revision, 
in 1912. The book is a mine of accurate political information on the 
stirring period covered by the life of its subject, and is perhaps unique 
among biographies in avoiding any open expression of opinion on that 
subject's character. Shelburne is still just as great an enigma to 
posterity as he was to his contemporaries. Disraeli called him one 
of the ' suppressed ' characters of English history. Nobody knows 
why everybody hated him, but that he incurred almost universal 
hatred is abundantly clear. He was a man of great ambition, great 
intellectual capacity, great breadth of mind, great experience ; a deep 
thinker on political matters, a rich and highly intelligent landlord, 
an ardent collector of art-treasures, books, and manuscripts ; the 
friend and patron of Bentham and of the French philosophes, the 
pupil, as he loved to assert, of Chatham, the first leader of Chatham's 
greater son. Yet when that son at the age of twenty- five became 
Prime Minister and looked round almost friendless for experienced 
supporters, he spurned Shelburne from his side and threw him a 
Marquisate. No names were too bad for persons of as diverse opinions 


as the first Lord Holland, Burke, Horace Walpole, and George III to 
apply to Shelburne. And yet if we search for the reasons of this 
hatred in the history of Shelburne's political conduct we find it hard 
to lay our hands on any conspicuous act of treachery. The mere 
' oiliness ' of his manners and shiftiness of his countenance are surely 
not enough to account for the attitude of mankind towards him ; 
wlj He his claim to be a no-party man, a claim which he unquestionably 
inherited from Chatham, ought to have been a title to fame. One is 
driven then to fall back upon the general accusation that Shelburne 
was an exceptional liar, arid rather a maladroit liar. 

Shelburne was privately educated until he went to Christ Church 
i" '755 i but ho left college to become a soldier two years later. 
He served witli distinction in the Seven Years' War, especially at the 
battle of Miriden, and was elected to the House of Commons in 1760. 
Jfe never took Iiis seat there, as he succeeded to his peerage in the next 
year. He attached himself to Bute at the date of the Peace of Paris, 
and was an intermediary between the favourite and Henry Fox. 
Fox was perhaps the first of many persons who afterwards accused 
Shelburne of having duped him in the negotiations. If this were true, 
I he man who outwitted that master of cunning must have been cunning 
indeed ; but it is probable that Fox totally misrepresented Shelburne 
in this instance. Shelburne took office (the Presidency of the Board 
n\ Trade) in Grenville's Government, arid early grasped the dangers 
of, and the best probable remedies for, the rising discontent in the 
Colonies ; as no one attended to him he resigned, and began to attach 
himself to Pitt, opposing the Kockingharn Whigs and their Declaratory 
Act as he had opposed the Stamp Act. Thus, when Pitt became 
Karl of Chatham and head of the next Government, Shelburne was 
one of his Secretaries of State witli the control of Colonial affairs. 
Would his ability and his really liberal views, his extreme anxiety to 
conciliate, even to the extent of flattering, the Colonial Agents, have- 
averted the storm if Chatham had been able to lend anything beyond 
his name to the Ministry ? It may well be doubted, for Shelburne 



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seems to have been singularly devoid of skill in managing men, and 
merely incurred the hatred of the King without conciliating a single 
one of his colleagues in the Cabinet. He resigned in 1768. When 
Chatham, recalled to activity by finding himself once more in opposi- 
tion, began to attack North's Ministry, Shelburne stood by his side, 
and poured invective on the Government on every conceivable subject, 
but especially upon that of the American War. This, if anything, 
ought to have endeared him to the Foxite Whigs, and on Chatham's 
death he did begin to act more openly with the Rockingham party. 
Such personal following as he himself boasted consisted at that time 
of the remains of Chatham's own party. When North fell in 1782 the 
King was reduced to the alternative between Shelburne and Rocking- 
ham, both hateful to him, for the Treasury ; he chose the latter, and 
Shelburne again became Secretary of State. Shelburne now wished 
to carry his vengeful feelings against North to the length of an im- 
peachment, but, from his first entry to the Cabinet, he had been 
getting on very badly with Fox, who, on Rockingham's death in the 
summer of the same year, utterly refused to serve with him. Thus 
it was not as an old Whig but as a Chathamite that Shelburne himself 
entered on his own brief tenure of the Treasury, with Pitt, Dundas, 
Barre, Camden, and Temple as colleagues, and the intriguer Thurlow 
as Chancellor. From the first it was a weak and unpopular Ministry, 
and it was confronted with the task of concluding peace with all the 
world, and of acknowledging the independence of the Colonies. Rock- 
ingham's Government had already begun to treat ; Shelburne's 
concluded the American Treaty and the preliminaries with France. 
The really infamous coalition of Fox and North overthrew the Cabinet 
in the following February, 1783 ; we can hardly avoid concluding 
that against any other Minister than Shelburne such a coalition could 
never have come into existence. 

In retirement Shelburne, now Marquis of Lansdowne, at first 
gave independent support to Pitt's Government, but gradually drifted 
away from it without finding any rest for the soles of his political feet 


in the ranks of the Opposition until the outbreak of the Great French 
War in 1793. Then at last he gravitated towards the only party that 
like himself was declasse, and he outwhigged Fox and the Duke of 
Bedford in motions for Parliamentary Reform, for an immediate peace 
with the Jacobins, and against the measures of internal security taken 
by Pitt. It is probable that here at last his own matured views are 
to be found ; he was at heart, and perhaps always had been, an 
advanced Whig or Radical, a strong free-trader, a champion of religious 
toleration and Parliamentary Reform. During these years Fox, the 
most placable of mankind, was ready to sink his old dislike, and 
Lord Lansdowne was to have been one of the Secretaries of State in 
any Whig Government which should come in. He died just a year 
too soon for it to be seen whether in his old age he would have been 
a more successful Minister or a more satisfactory colleague than he 
had proved to be in middle life. The Holland House gang, which 
set to work to rehabilitate so many lost souls, made little attempt 
to rescue the fame of the first Marquis of Lansdowne. 



statesman, was a younger son of the eccentric but clever second Earl 
of Egmont and of Catherine Compton. He was educated at Harrow 
and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar. He took 
silk in 1796, having already a considerable practice. He entered 
Parliament in the same year as a strong supporter of the Government 
both in foreign and domestic policy, and was one of the best of ' Pitt's 
young men ' ; Pitt thought no one could cope with Fox so well as he. 
As a convinced anti-Catholic he became successively Solicitor-General 
and Attorney-General in Addington's Government. In these capaci- 
ties, besides proving himself an able advocate in Crown prosecutions, 


he earned considerable reputation in debate ; and Pitt after some 
difficulty persuaded him to remain in office in 1804, Perceval stipulating 
only that he would never serve with Fox. Thus, after he had been 
out of office during the ' Talents ' Ministry, Portland was glad to get 
him as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1807 ; the work was quite new 
to him, but with his usual industry and patience he came to hold his 
own in finance as well as law, and that in a very critical time of expense 
and deficit. He certainly made a false step in 1809, when he omitted 
to reveal to Castlereagh the knowledge that came to him in June 
of Canning's intrigue against his colleague ; he held strongly to 
Castlereagh's side, and felt that he was acting a miserable part in 
withholding the story. After the duel and the resignation of both 
Canning and Castlereagh, Perceval was, upon his own side of the 
House, the only possible leader ; but he had the utmost difficulty in 
forming his Cabinet, and was obliged himself to retain the Exchequer 
together with the Treasury. For three stormy years he held the 
helm of State ; in the first month he was four times beaten on divi- 
sions ; yet in the teeth of the enormously increasing expenditure on 
the French War, in the teeth of the King's fresh, and as it proved 
final, attack of insanity, Perceval had to struggle on, bearing the 
burden of debate almost alone. The Prince of Wales had to be made 
Regent ; but the Prime Minister had been a strong supporter of the 
Princess. Restrictions, similar to those of 1788, had to be imposed 
on the Regency would the Prince consent to them, would Parliament 
accept them ? Perceval doggedly worked on and got his way, although 
for once even Castlereagh had supported the Opposition. He fully 
expected to be turned out of office as soon as the Regency Bill became 
law. But some one, probably Sheridan, persuaded the Regent not 
to be so mad as to change his Ministers at such a date, and by the 
spring of 1811 the crisis was past. Even then Lord W T ellesley, his 
Foreign Secretary, who professed to despise Perceval's dull, if solid, 
merits, and regarded him as a bigot, was working against him at 
Court, and resigned his office in the hopes of supplanting him, in 


January, 1812. But to the discomfiture of Wellesley a greater Foreign 
Secretary stepped forward, Castlereagh himself, and all seemed well 
again. Two days after Napoleon had started to take over the com- 
mand of his army in Russia the Prime Minister was shot dead by 
a lunatic in the lobby of the House of Commons. 

Perceval's reputation has suffered much from the unwarrantable 
accusations made against him by Napier, in his History of the War in 
the Peninsula, of starving Wellington's army. He was a man of the 
most simple and strenuous religious belief, so simple that he really 
seems to have believed that the overthrow of Napoleon was foretold 
by the prophet Daniel. He was the father of a very large family, 
with every temptation and opportunity for nepotism, and with a 
strong belief in the usefulness of the existence of sinecures, one of 
which was held by his own brother ; but he never made use of his 
own position to provide for his children. Romilly, afterwards his 
political opponent, had been his warm friend from the days of their 
early companionship on the Midland circuit, and had the generosity 
in his Memoirs to ascribe the subsequent abandonment of their friend- 
ship wholly to his own serious view of politics. Perceval's Life, by 
his grandson Spencer Walpole, is rather a tame biography of a man 
whose dogged resolution in an iron time deserves to be more warmly 
remembered by his countrymen than it now is. 

From the portrait ascribed to Jean Marc Nattier in the National Portrait Gallery 



the last of the Stuarts, was the younger son of the exiled James III 
by Clementina, daughter of Prince James Sobieski of Poland. He 
was born at Rome, and known as the ' Duke of York '. His infancy, 
owing to the retirement of his mother to a convent and to the melan- 
choly of his father, was probably not gay, and he had none of the 
high spirits of his unruly elder brother, Charles Edward. The brothers 
were, however, devoted friends ; the Earl Marischal, who knew them 
well, preferred Henry for his gentle temper. When Charles left Rome 
in January, 1744, to join the French invasion of Britain then being 
planned, Henry was not in the secret, and went to look for his brother 
at Albano, where he learned the truth and did his best to cover up 
his brother's tracks. A strange statement has been made in a work 
of great authority to the effect that in 1745 ' he journeyed to Dunkirk 
to join the troops assembling on his brother's behalf ' : also that 
' he came to England to take part in the Rebellion '. In support of 
this last statement a letter is quoted a letter which is obviously 
a skit, designed to pour ridicule on the Prince and his father, on the 
Pope and the Catholic faith. 1 We do not know for certain the date 
of Henry's ordination, but with a Papal dispensation it might well be 
before this, his twentieth year. In 1746 he was given three Italian 
bishoprics and other high ecclesiastical offices at Rome, and next 
year was created a Cardinal ; anything more certain to preclude for 
ever a legitimist restoration in Great Britain can hardly be imagined. 
Of such restoration he had probably given up thoughts long before 

1 See Notes and Queries, first series, vol. xi. The letter is addressed to ' Father 
Benedict Yorke ' (an impossible name for Prince Henry), and states that he 
has ' been for years officiating at Bath as a Catholic priest, reclaiming many to 
the faith '. 

H. P. IV D 


his father's death ; on that event the Vatican refused to recognize 
Charles Edward as King, and it was with difficulty that the gentle 
Cardinal prevailed upon his angry brother to overlook the slight and 
to visit the Pope (1767). He was kind to Charles Edward's slighted 
and erring wife after their separation (1777), and, when his brother 
died, in 1788, styled himself, on a medal, ' Henry IX, King of Great 
Britain', but added on the reverse, with proud humility, ' Not by the 
will of men but by the Grace of God'. 

He had acquired considerable riches from the numerous benefices 
which he held, and spent them freely in the service of the Papacy 
when the crash of the French Revolution fell upon Italy. The French 
soldiers sacked the poor old man's palace at Frascati, and he had to 
fly for his life (1799) ; it was then that George III, hearing of his 
distresses, conferred upon him a substantial pension, which he grate- 
fully accepted. He died at Frascati, and bequeathed the remnant 
of his crown jewels to the Prince of Wales, at whose orders Canova 
carved the well-known medallions of Charles Edward and Henry 
Benedict in St. Peter's at Rome (1819). 



scholar, was born of poor but highly intelligent parents in humble 
life in a Norfolk village. He went to two village schools, Bacton 
and Hazeborough (Happisburgh), and attracted the attention of a 
curate, who on a small stipend was educating his own sons to be 
scholars. This Mr. Hewitt grounded the rough boy thoroughly in 
Latin and mathematics, but did not begin to teach him Greek till he 
was over twelve. A neighbouring squire, Norris, afterwards founder 
of the Norrisian Professorship, was his next patron, and, after sending 
him to Cambridge to be examined, in order to test his real proficiency, 

From the portrait by John Iloppncr, R.A.. in the University Library at Cambridge 

Face p. 34 


got him a nomination for College at Eton. Person spent four years 
there, but had entered too old (fifteen) to succeed to King's ; he was, 
however, helped by the liberality of some friends of Norris (who died 
in 1777) to go to Trinity, Cambridge, where he soon became a Scholar 
(1780) and Fellow (1782). He felt unable to take orders, and thereby 
lost his Fellowship in 1792. His friends immediately raised a sum 
of sixteen hundred pounds, which procured him a small annuity ; 
and in the same year, 1792, he was chosen Regius Professor of 
Greek. He married in 1796 the widowed sister of his friend Perry, the 
journalist, but his wife died within a few months of the wedding. 
Both before and after his marriage he lived in chambers in Essex 
Court in the Temple. In 1806 he was appointed Librarian of the newly 
founded London Institution. 

Such offices and emoluments as these would now afford a com- 
fortable provision for a bachelor scholar ; but Person's Fellowship 
never exceeded 100 a year ; his Professorship was worth 40, and his 
Librarianship, which he only held for the last two years of his life, 
200. He was thus always poor, and yet contrived to leave over 
800 in savings and a small library of valuable books. He was a tall 
man of great physical strength, who could walk in a day from London 
to Cambridge, but he had a severe illness at Eton which threatened 
his lungs and left him a martyr to asthma, and to its frequent con- 
comitant insomnia. It is probable that he took to strong drink 
in order to relieve these troubles, and it seems clear that he injured 
his constitution and hastened his end by this vice. He would sit up 
drinking two nights running if the company was good ; but he was 
also quite capable of abstaining from drink for long periods together, 
and never drank in secret. He had no other vices, and was in private 
life, as in scholarship, the very soul of independence and honesty. His 
capacity for work at textual criticism was as prodigious as Bentley's ; 
his chances of obtaining distinction in this field were far less, for 
fortune never smiled on him as it smiled on his great predecessor. 
He was also subject to great fits of indolence, or apparent indolence, 



and wasted much time in the childish amusement of calligraphy. 
His memory was of that stupendous and photographic kind which 
enabled him to repeat whole books by heart, and to locate par- 
ticular words on the pages of obscure authors. The range of his 
reading is the more remarkable when we reflect that he was not 
particularly distinguished at school, and only began to appear marvel- 
lous as an undergraduate. He composed with difficulty, and such 
of his compositions as survive are mostly jeux d'esprit in English 
or Greek; though his knowledge of metres was unrivalled, or 
rivalled only by Bentley's, he set little store by verse-making and 
held the Musae Etonenses to be ' rubbish '. He equally abhorred 
letter-writing ; though warmly attached to his own family, he 
hardly ever wrote to its members, and he was once or twice 
guilty of grave discourtesy to foreign scholars whose letters he 
omitted to answer. 

It is probable that, as his latest biographer, Mr. Selby Watson, 
suggests, his lack of imagination was actually a gain to him in that 
sphere of scholarship, textual criticism, which he particularly made 
his own. Bentley's greater imaginative power had often led him 
into rash conjectures, but when Porson did suggest an emendation 
his readers might be sure that it had been made with the greatest 
caution, or obtained from sources actually extant which no one knew 
but himself. His first wish was to edit Aeschylus for the Cambridge 
Press, but the Syndics in 1783 blindly rejected his conditions of 
textual recension ; some of his emendations of this dramatist were 
afterwards privately published without his name in Glasgow. As we 
learn from his inaugural lecture in 1792, Euripides was his favourite 
among the Greek Tragedians, and in 1797 he published an edition 
of the Hecuba ; this was rapidly followed by Orestes, Phoenissae, and 
Medea. Porson collated the Harleian manuscript of the Odyssey for 
the Oxford Homer called the ' Grenville ' (1801). His notes and 
preface to Emendations to Suidas were also published at Oxford 
(1790). He relieved these severer studies by several satirical pieces 


of destructive or humorous criticism; such are his Letters to 
Travis (1790), in which he mishandled an unfortunate archdeacon 
who had criticized Gibbon ; his letter in the Morning Chronicle in 
1796, making fun, by a mock discovery of lost Sophoclean tragedies, 
of Ireland's forgeries on Shakespeare ; his political satires, in imitation 
of Horace. 

' Porsoniana ' are endless ; the great scholar's wit, his puns 
(generally in Greek or bilingual), his unconventionality, his dirty 
clothes, his passionate truthfulness, his amazing memory, his satire, 
his good fellowship, and his proud independence, have all been the 
themes of stories affectionately handed down among scholars. He 
had little appetite for fame, but hoped to be remembered as ' one 
who had done a good deal for the text of Euripides '. Possibly this 
saying suggested Browning's Grammarian's Funeral ; it may, at any 
rate, have been a satisfaction to Person's spirit that his body was 
laid in the antechapel at Trinity at the foot of the statue of Newton 
and not very far from the grave of Bentley. 



son of the witty and learned physician and man of letters, Dr. John 
Moore, was born at Glasgow, and, after a short time at the High 
School, travelled on the Continent with his father, learning languages 
and manly exercises. At Berlin he saw the aged hero Frederick the 
Great, and that delightful old Jacobite the Earl Marischal ; he also 
saw the famous Prussian ' manoeuvres ' with 40,000 men in the field. 
At Vienna he saw Joseph II, who offered him a commission in the 
Austrian Army. He joined the British Army at fifteen, and had his 
baptism of fire in the American War. He sat in Parliament for 
a Scottish constituency 1784-90, nominally as a Whig, really as a 


supporter of Pitt, and was already Lieutenant-Colonel when the 
Great War broke out. He helped in the reduction of Corsica in 1794, 
and it was there that his great gifts for organization and the training 
of troops were first recognized, and he was appointed Adjutant- 
General to General Stuart. He went in 1796, as a brigadier in 
Abercromby's force, to the West Indies, and, when Sir Ralph got 
the difficult command in Ireland, he selected Moore to accompany him 
on his staff. In the expedition to North Holland in 1799 Moore was 
right-hand man to the same General, and received a severe wound in 
action ; in the Egyptian campaign of 1801 it was Moore who carried 
out the disembarkation in the face of the French troops, and it was 
Moore's brigade which led the army of Abercromby to victory at 
Alexandria ; there Abercromby died, and Moore was again seriously 
wounded. If Moore had a tutor in the art of war, it was his gallant, 
gentle, half-blind fellow-countryman, Abercromby. In 1803, in com- 
mand of the camp at Shorncliffe, Moore began to apply, and to 
improve upon, Abercromby's lessons in the training which he gave 
to the Light Brigade, one day to become the nucleus of the famous 
' Light Division ' of Peninsula fame. In that brigade was the famous 
52nd, of which Moore himself was Colonel, Colborne's regiment of 
Waterloo. Sir Frederick Maurice rightly points out that the tactics 
there developed by Moore have become the basis of our modern 
system of warfare. But it was something besides tactics that Moore 
taught ; it was the training of the individual soldiers, from Colonel 
to drummer-boy, to use their intelligence, and to obey from other 
motives than fear of the lash. Every subaltern was entrusted with 
responsibility for his command and was encouraged to attach his men 
to himself ; in short, Moore found his command a machine and left it 
an organism. It was a stirring time too ; the troops at Shorncliffe 
could hear the French artillery at practice in the camp at Boulogne 
in clear weather they could almost see their enemies' signal-telegraphs 
at work ; and Mr. Pitt, a great friend of our General, and perhaps 
Pitt's niece, Lady Hester (who was in love with Moore), would ride 

From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.;V, in the National Portrait Gallery 

Facef. 38 J 


over from Walmer to inspect the camp. When the scare was over 
and Austerlitz had come after Trafalgar, Fox, before following Pitt 
to the grave, sent Moore as second in command to his own brother 
in Sicily ; and when General Fox came home Moore remained in 
command there till the autumn of 1807, very freely expressing his 
opinions to the British Government on the faithlessness of the Queen 
of Naples. Gibraltar and Lisbon were mere halts in Moore's home- 
ward path ; he did not even land his men at the latter, but he got his 
first sight of the country where he was to win immortal fame. In 
1808 he was sent by Canning on a fool's errand to Sweden, to discuss 
the question of aiding that country against France and Russia ; 
but the mad King would listen to nothing, and tried to detain Moore, 
who escaped in disguise and spoke his mind freely to his Government 
about this thing and themselves also. Moore was not popular with 
Governments, and not even Castlereagh was quite open with him. 
A series of misconceptions, most of which must be laid at Canning's 
door, sent Moore in July, 1808, to his last and greatest campaign, 
sore at heart from feeling that he had not the confidence of Ministers, 
nor any certain knowledge of what they wished him to do. All he 
knew was that he was to take reinforcements to the army of Burrard, 
Dalrymple, and Wellesley in Portugal. He arrived in the Mondego 
after Vimeiro and the Convention of Cintra, and remained in command 
when the other three had gone home, with general orders to assist the 
Spanish armies ; he was to be reinforced from England by way of 
Corunna, and might reckon on something over 30,000 men to effect 
some bold stroke against ten times that number of French troops. 
There has been some controversy on the question whether Moore's 
campaign was conducted on the best principles, but all sound writers 
agree that it disturbed French strategy as nothing had yet done. 
Yet for the moment it led to a retreat with such loss as looked to 
contemporaries very like disaster. To Moore's great champion, 
Sir F. Maurice, it was ' the boldest, most successful, most brilliant 
stroke of war of all time '. Moore started from Lisbon at the end of 


October, 1808, expecting to be joined by double his number of Spanish 
allies, who never came, who in fact were at that very time being 
destroyed in detail by French armies ; expecting also to find transport 
which was never supplied, and very ill equipped with money to pay 
his way. He reached the Portuguese frontier via Almeida on Novem- 
ber nth, and occupied Salamanca two days later. Here he made 
a long halt, and here his critics have accused him of irresolution ; he 
was waiting for news of the Spaniards. As this news did not come, 
or was unfavourable, he decided to retreat upon Lisbon and so at 
least to save his own army ; ' not a British Army, which for a great 
end he might have justifiably risked, but the and the only British 
Army ' then on foot. But before he started he received more favour- 
able news, and resolved to risk his great coup, a stroke at Napoleon's 
line of communications between Madrid and France. Such a stroke, 
if successful, would, he foresaw, draw on himself the whole French 
Army ; he would have to retreat before it. But even in retreating 
would he not in reality have won a great strategic victory ? And so 
he would seek out Marshal Soult and fight him somewhere on the 
' Great Road ', for choice at the River Carrion near Burgos. At 
Sahagun, on the 23rd of December, Moore learned that Napoleon 
himself was hurrying from Madrid, that the leading columns of the 
enemy were already close to him, that his own retreat on Portugal 
was endangered, and that the whole French force was after him. 
Was this exactly what he had wished and planned, or was he taken 
by surprise ? He lost no hour in commencing his retreat in the one 
direction left open to him, Galicia. He might take ship either at 
Vigo or Corunna ; he chose the latter, and after terrible hardships, 
heavy losses from sickness and straggling, and great sacrifices of 
stores and magazines, he reached the sea at Corunna January 13, 
1809, fought, won, and fell in the battle on the i6th, and died in 
Graham's arms. 

Moore has been criticized for the details of the retreat : ' he 
might have turned to bay oftener ', ' he hurried his men too much ', 


' he had not made adequate provision for a retreat ', ' the work of his 
staff was faulty ', and so on. Much of this may be true ; but it is 
impossible to resist the conclusions that he had drawn the whole 
French Army after him ; that Napoleon himself had pursued him 
fiercely for half the distance, and only given over the pursuit to Soult 
when he found that Moore had baffled him ; that time had thus been 
given to the various insurrections in Spain, a priceless three months of 
breathing space, just at the one crisis when Napoleon might otherwise 
have crushed them for ever. Thus Moore died victorious. His 
Army, wasted by disease and by the frightful ill-temper that always 
results from a hurried retreat, was quite unconscious of the greatness 
of his victory. But, even in what it believed to be defeat and disaster, 
it adored him. All who served under him always did ; and, in our 
own time, his admirers have claimed for him, not without reason, 
that he was one of the greatest thinkers on the art of war that Britain 
ever produced, as he certainly was one of the most noble, unselfish, 
lovable leaders of men. Colborne, his favourite pupil, spoke his 
epitaph, ' Nothing but life was wanting to his fame '. 



General, son of a Welsh country gentleman, was born at Poyston 
in Pembrokeshire, and entered the Army in 1771, but saw no active 
service until the Great War. But he was a diligent student of the art 
of war, and learned both the Spanish and French languages. He was 
a man of great stature and physical strength, and quelled a mutiny 
in 1783 by rushing into the ranks, seizing the ringleader by the scruff 
of the neck, and dragging him away. In the first period of the Great 
War his service was wholly in the West Indies, the hardest and most 
unhealthy post on which British soldiers were engaged. In almost 
every action between 1795 and 1799 in that region Picton was dis- 
tinguished by gallantry and skill, and was already a Lieutenant- 
Colonel when he was appointed by Abercromby to the military govern- 
ment of our richest acquisition, Trinidad, in 1797. He made an 
excellent Governor, administering rough-and-ready justice, opening 
up roads and quelling mutinies, and, in particular, protecting and 
developing the trade of the island. In 1801 he was appointed to the 
Civil Governorship, and the island was one of the few acquisitions 
which Great Britain retained at the Peace of Amiens. Popular with 
the Trinidadians of all colours and both nationalities, Picton was not 
popular with the Home Government, which listened to malicious 
tales of his alleged cruelty and injustice. Two commissioners were 
sent to ' assist ' him in 1802, and one of them, Colonel Fullarton, 
after secret inquiries conducted in the most unjustifiable manner, 
came home and preferred a long list of charges against him. These 
charges involved him in the famous action of Rex versus Picton, 
which raised the interesting question, juristic rather than legal, 
whether, when a foreign country passes under the sovereignty of the 
British Crown, the Common Law does or does not at once come into 


From the portrait by Sir Martin Archer Shec. P.R.A. 
in the National Portrait Gallery 


From an engraving by A. Cardon after a 
drawing by A. G. Oliver. A.R.A. 

From a mezzotint by J. R. Smith after a 
portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. 

Face p. 42 


force. The better opinion was and is that the law existing in the 
territory at the date of its transference is in force until abrogated by 
the new sovereign. Under Spanish law, presumed still to run in 
Trinidad, Picton had permitted the (very mild) torture of a mulatto 
woman for robbery. Picton was arrested on his return to Europe 
in 1803, and held to enormous bail. His trial did not begin till 1806, 
when he was convicted on a technical point ; a new trial took place 
in 1808, and, though a special verdict was returned in his favour, he 
was never cleared of the charge, and went down to posterity most 
unjustly labelled as the ' man who had tortured a woman '. The 
expenses incident to his trial were enormous, but were borne by 
a rich uncle, and Picton had no active service again till 1809, when 
he was with Chatham as Major-General in command of a brigade in 
the Walcheren Expedition. Not till 1810 did he go to the great 
field of his fame, the Spanish Peninsula. Throughout the war there 
he was one of Wellington's right-hand men and commanded the 
Third Division ; Wellington himself had asked for him to be appointed. 
Whether in desperate escalades as at Rodrigo or Badajoz, in cool 
retreat as at El Bodon, in bold attack in the face of odds as at Vittoria, 
at Orthez, at Toulouse, Picton was the man of the hour. Twice he 
received the thanks of the House of Commons from the Speaker he 
sat himself for Carmarthenshire at the time and it was a cruel piece 
of timidity on the part of the Government, and of ingratitude on the 
part of the Duke, that refused him a peerage when that honour 
was conferred on such a mediocrity as Cotton. In 1815 Picton was 
appointed to the command of the Fifth Division, and joined the 
Duke at Brussels the day before Quatre Bras. At that battle he was 
wounded, and had three ribs broken ; he told no one but his servant, 
who helped to bandage him up ; and he went into the battle of Waterloo 
with a wound that would probably have been fatal even without the 
aid of the musket-ball which killed him while leading the victorious 
charge against d'Erlen's corps. 

Picton was a man round whose name stories grew ; his rough 


tongue, his hard swearing, his grim and ready methods of justice, 
his contempt for show, the Duke's unaccountable coldness towards 
him, are matters of tradition ; he fought at Busaco in a red night-cap, 
and when killed at Waterloo was wearing a top-hat. Less known is 
his real kindness of heart, his extreme zeal to repress plundering, 
his steady patronage of active subalterns. Both Picton and his rival 
Crauford of the Light Division (whose life would be commemorated 
in this book if any authentic portrait could have been found of him) 
were too independent to please Wellington ; while their tempers were 
such that they not infrequently displeased each other. 



General, was the son of William Baird of the old Scottish house ot 
Newbyth, and entered the Army in 1772. He obtained a captaincy 
in Macleod's newly raised regiment of Highlanders, afterwards the 
Seventy-first, in 1777 or 1778, and sailed for India in 1779. At the 
time of Baillie's disaster in Mysoor he was desperately wounded, and 
taken prisoner by Hyder Ali in 1780, together with two hundred other 
Europeans, and carried to Seringapatam, where for nearly four years 
he remained in durance, treated all the time with true Oriental bar- 
barity. Released in 1784 by the Peace of Bangalore, he came home 
five years later, and returned to India as Lieutenant-Colonel, and 
served as Brigadier in Cornwallis's army in the Second Mysoor War, 
1791-2, against Hyder's son Tippoo. He was present at Cornwallis's 
tentative operations before Seringapatam ; and after the feeble peace 
had been concluded with Tippoo, he was busy taking Pondichery 
from the French. On his way home in 1797 he touched at the Cape, 
and was forthwith entrusted by the Governor with the command of 
a brigade there ; he remained till 1799, when he returned to India, 


expecting to receive an independent command in the third and final 
Mysoor War ; but, to his great disgust, found his claims postponed 
to those of the Governor-General's brother, Arthur Wellesley. Baird 
led the assault on his old prison, Seringapatam, with conspicuous 
gallantry, but received no reward either from the Company, the 
Crown, or the General-in-command (Harris). But his chivalrous 
treatment of the sons of Tippoo, who fell into his hands at the storm, 
was long remembered in India ; certain death would have been their 
fate if his gigantic form had not shielded them until he could give 
them an escort to head-quarters. Baird's one real chance came two 
years later ; in the expedition dispatched from Bombay to join 
Abercromby in Egypt, March 1801, Baird led the Indian troops to 
the Red Sea, started from Kosseir, and marched across one hundred 
and twenty miles of desert to the Nile. It was a great feat, admirably 
planned and executed ; there was only one set of wells (at Keneh) 
on the route. The temperature was fearful, but only three men 
(Garden says only two) were lost out of 7,000. The contingent arrived 
at Cairo too late to help Abercromby 's victory, but in time to enable 
his successor Hutchinson to take Alexandria. Baird had some talent 
for irritating diplomatists and civilian governors, and received for 
the moment little recognition for his really great feat ; so he was 
quite ready to return to India in 1802. There he expected high 
employment in the coming Mahratta War, but again he found the 
Wellesley influence hostile, and this time he returned home in dudgeon. 
He was knighted for his Egyptian services, and was sent to recapture 
the Cape in 1806. This he accomplished with complete success and 
with but trifling loss ; but he was then persuaded by Popham to lend 
his regiment for the mad expedition against Buenos Ayres, and after- 
wards to reinforce Beresford there, though too late to prevent the 
failure of the whole expedition. Both he and Popham got into 
well-deserved trouble with the Ministry for this business ; Baird was 
deprived of the government of the Cape which had been given to him, 
and peremptorily recalled, but, on his return home, was employed in 


the expedition to the Baltic which resulted in the capture of the 
Danish fleet, and effectively bombarded Copenhagen ; here he was 
again wounded. In 1808 he was sent to Corunna as second in command 
in Moore's Spanish expedition. He brought large reinforcements 
and advanced through Galicia, joining Moore on December 20th 
at Mayorga. When the retreat began Baird proved that he was not 
a good retreater, and his division got very much out of hand. In the 
battle of Corunna Baird lost his arm just before Moore fell, and his old 
friend Admiral Garden, who had been with him in the Red Sea, gives, 
in his Memoirs, a graphic description of his heroism under the amputa- 
tion of the stump, or rather the separation of the shattered stump 
from the socket. Baird saw no more active warfare, and only in 
1820 did he obtain a post worthy of his distinguished services the 
command in Ireland. 

Few such gallant soldiers have had so little reward ; he was 
conspicuously unlucky : first, in the actual dates of his promotions ; 
secondly, in the coldness with which his superiors, both civilian and 
military, treated him ; thirdly, in his frequent wounds in battle ; 
fourthly, perhaps, in his grim and dour temper. He is now best 
remembered by the famous remark made by his mother, when she 
heard in 1780 that Hyder had chained his prisoners together two and 
two: ' I pity the chiel that's chained to our Davie.' She was a 
worthy mother of such a gallant knight. 



General, was the son of a Liverpool merchant, and entered the Army 
on the eve of the American War. He was in Clinton's unsuccessful 
attack on Charleston and with Howe at the capture of New York in 
1776. Next year he was at the Brandywine, Germantown, and 
Philadelphia. In 1778 he was with Cathcart in the ' British Legion '- 
a body of men recruited in America and well suited for outpost opera- 
tions, but too prone, as such irregular troops often are, to commit 
excesses on its opponents ; it included both cavalry and infantry. 
Tarleton took it to assist Clinton's capture of Charleston in 1780. 
He was Cornwallis's best lieutenant in the operations leading to the 
battle of Camden, and distinguished himself in that battle ; on Corn- 
wallis's northern march at the beginning of 1781 he held the advanced 
guard and, in spite of one bad defeat, he was almost everywhere 
successful, preceding the main force up to, and at, the crossing of the 
James River ; during the disastrous campaign in the Yorktown 
peninsula Tarleton held the post of Gloucester. On the capitulation 
Tarleton returned to England on parole, and soon attached himself to 
the Prince of Wales's gang. He entered Parliament as a Whig and 
a fierce critic of Governmental measures in 1790, and sat in the House 
till 1812. He published in 1787 a history of the American campaigns 
in which he had been engaged, full of vainglory on the subject of 
himself and full of fierce and most ungenerous criticism of Cornwallis. 
He held various military posts within Great Britain during the Great 
War, but was not trusted by any Government, and his baronetcy, 
conferred in 1815, was probably only intended to silence him. 

Tarleton's only merit had been that of an exceedingly dashing 
and resourceful leader of irregular troops during his six campaigns ; 
such men as he, however, were badly needed in the British Army. 



Admiral, of an old Northumbrian family, was born at Newcastle, 
and entered the Navy in his twelfth year. He saw service in the 
American War, both at Bunker Hill and, in command of a frigate, 
in the Central American expedition to San Juan in 1780. It was here 
that he began his close association with Nelson, who became his warm 
friend ; both had been patronized by Sir Peter Parker. Collingwood 
was again with Nelson on the West India Station during the Peace. 
At the beginning of the Great War he commanded the Barfleur in 
the action of June i, 1794. He joined the Mediterranean fleet in 
1795, and was chiefly engaged in blockading Toulon until the 
evacuation of that sea. In 1797 he distinguished himself greatly in 
command of the Excellent in the battle of Cape St. Vincent, and 
remained in blockade of Cadiz till 1799. In that year he reached 
flag rank. When Nelson in 1805 was chasing Villeneuve across the 
Atlantic and back Collingwood in the Royal Sovereign, was detached 
from the fleet blockading Brest, and shut up a Spanish squadron in 
Cadiz. Thus when Nelson, after his last brief stay in England, 
appeared off the Spanish coast at the end of September, Collingwood 
was second in command, and in this capacity led one of the two 
columns at Trafalgar. His peerage was solely owing to his having 
succeeded to the chief command on Nelson's death. In 1807 he, 
being in command of the Mediterranean fleet, sent Duckworth to the 
Levant in the hope of galvanizing the Turks into declaring against 
France ; in the next'year he failed, apparently through his own fault, 
to capture Ganteaume's squadron, which had got out of Toulon and 
raided as far as the Ionian Isles, and in 1809 he intercepted off Cette 
two French ships-of-the-line which were conveying troops to Spain. 

From the portrait by Henry H jvvard, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face f>. 48 


He died at sea, after a long period of bad health, in 1810. It is difficult 
to avoid the conclusion that he had missed his chance of distinction 
in his Mediterranean command ; he was in fact nothing more than 
an excellent hard-fighting sailor who had risen with Nelson's fortune 
without possessing any of Nelson's genius. 


(1771-1805 or 1806) 

explorer, son of a Selkirkshire farmer, studied medicine, surgery, and 
botany at Edinburgh, and, coming to London in 1791, got an intro- 
duction to Banks, who procured him a medical berth on an East 
India vessel. He collected plants in the Far East and presented them 
to Banks on his return ; and it seems to have been Banks who sug- 
gested that the ' African Association ' should employ Park as an 
explorer in the hinterland of Senegal. The stalwart Scot wished for 
nothing better, and sailed to the Gambia in a trader in 1795 ; the 
existence of the great river Niger was then known, but its course 
quite uncharted. Park's first expedition consisted of a man and a boy, 
both negroes ; he made himself acquainted with the 'dialect known 
as Mandingo shortly after his arrival at the furthest trading station 
up the river Gambia, and started across the unknown at the end of 
1795. After great hardships, during which he was kept four months 
in prison by an Arab slave-dealer and robbed of all he possessed, he 
struck the Niger at Segu and followed its course for some distance, 
but, before he could reach Timbuctoo, he was obliged to return to 
the Gambia, walking almost the whole way back until he fell in with 
a trading caravan. He returned to England late in 1797, published 
his travels in 1799, married, and settled as a surgeon at Peebles. 
His book brought him fame and friendships, and among his friends 


was Scott, then in residence at Ashestiel and Sheriff of Selkirkshire. 
Scott was delighted with Park's modesty and the reticence which he 
had observed in his book, as compared with the good stories of his 
adventures which he told in conversation ; also by his knowledge of 
border lore and ballads. But the man was weary to be back in his 
deserts, and, this time with Government patronage and a Government 
grant, and after some close study of Arabic, Park and his brother-in- 
law Anderson set forth again early in 1805, reached Goree, and enlisted 
volunteers from the garrison there to the number of thirty-five, with 
a considerable native following and a guide ; by his old route from 
the Gambia, he reached the Niger, striking that river higher up 
than before. Even before this the white men of the party were being 
rapidly reduced in numbers by fever, and few were left when Park 
wrote the last authentic news that was ever received of him (dated 
November 1805). This news stated that he had built a ship, or 
improvised a native canoe into a ship, on the Niger, and was starting 
down stream ; he believed that it would be found to be identical with 
the Congo River (whose mouth was known) ; certainly it must find 
salt water somewhere. Fairly probable news was received some 
six or seven years later, to the effect that the explorer had descended 
some distance beyond Timbuctoo, but had been drowned or killed, 
with all his companions except one negro, in a fight with native tribes. 
None of his journals were ever recovered. He was, after James 
Bruce, who was more fortunate than himself, the pioneer of African 


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Admiral, son of a packet-captain, entered the Navy in 1770 and 
served with gallantry in the American War, getting his first command 
(a lake vessel) in Burgoyne's ill-fated expedition. He was taken 
prisoner at Saratoga, and after his release fought the French in the 
Channel. He got a frigate directly the Great War began, and was 
knighted for a most gallant capture before the end of 1793. His main 
service from 1794 to 1798 was in the Channel or the Bay of Biscay, 
in command of successive squadrons of frigates ; he did especially 
good work in 1796 off the Irish coast against the projected French 
descent. In 1799 he quelled, by stern personal daring, an outbreak of 
mutiny in the Indefatigable off the Irish coast. During the peace 
(1802-3), h e got a seat in Parliament, and, on the renewal of hostilities, 
an eighty-gun ship in Cornwallis's blockading squadron ; he was 
chiefly employed with six of-the-line off Ferrol. He supported St. 
Vincent's opinion (in Parliament in 1804) in favour of blockading by 
rirst-rates rather than in gunboats, and reached flag rank in that year. 
In his new capacity he went out as Commander-in-Chief to the East 
India Station, 1805, and did excellent work in providing convoys 
for our trade in those waters, where it was threatened both by French 
and Dutch privateers from Mauritius and Java respectively, and by 
a considerable Dutch squadron of ships of war ; this last, however, 
Pellcw destroyed in 1807. The ' losses by capture in the China 
trade', says Mahan, ' fell during his command to but one -per cent, per 
annum and were less than those by ordinary sea risk.' Pellew returned 
to European waters in 1809, was offered the Mediterranean, but 
preferred the North Sea till 1811, when he went out through the 

E 2 


Straits, to assist in the defence of Sicily and in the eastern sphere of 
the Peninsular War. He got his peerage in 1814. 

In 1816 he was again in the Mediterranean, charged to procure 
from the ' Barbary States ' (Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis) the release of 
all British subjects, and the abolition of slavery for all Christians. 
The Algerians determined to resist, and Exmouth with a very small 
fleet, aided by some Dutch frigates, after a desperate artillery duel 
between his own ships and the very heavily armed forts, pounded the 
defences and most of the city of Algiers to pieces and liberated three 
thousand Christian slaves. Honours were showered upon the Admiral 
from all the States whose subjects he had thus rescued, and the feat 
greatly increased the prestige of Great Britain in the world. This 
was his last active service. For a man of conspicuous gallantry and 
ability, who saw so much hard fighting in so many parts of the globe, 
Exmouth may be considered unfortunate in not having held command 
of a fleet during, or even been present at, any one of the great naval 
actions against the French. He was a very stern disciplinarian, and 
yet such a skilful Commander-in-Chief that he, first of all British 
Admirals, seriously reduced the number of punishments in his squad- 
rons. It is very interesting to know that a member of his own family 
and name, being in the merchant service, had been captured by a 
' Sallee Rover ' in 1715, had spent twenty-three years in captivity in 
Morocco, and wrote an account of his adventures in 1739. 


(1758 ?-i8o 7 ) 

Admiral, of whose origin little is known save that he was born in 
London, probably in 1758, and educated at St. Paul's School, began 
his sea life in the forecastle of a merchant ship on a voyage to the 
West Indies, and was entered as an able seaman on the Sea-Horse 
a few days before Nelson joined her in 1773. In 1780 he sailed as 
a midshipman with Hughes to the East Indies, and was present 
at the desperate combats between Hughes and Suffren in that station 
until the news of the Peace of 1783 arrived. He obtained post rank 
in that year, and came home with Hughes in 1785. When the Great 
War broke out, Troubridge, in command of a frigate, was captured 
by the French Brest fleet and was rescued from the Sanspareil, which 
struck in the battle of the first of June, 1794. He took the Culloden 
to the Mediterranean in 1795, and commanded her with great dis- 
tinction in the battle of Cape St. Vincent. He was with Nelson in 
the attack on Santa Cruz off Teneriffe, and accompanied him in his 
chase of the French fleet in 1798. At the battle of the Nile the 
Culloden stuck on a shoal and remained out of action, to the great 
grief of her captain and his admiral. Troubridge was off the Nea- 
politan coast and did good service, which earned him his baronetcy, 
in 17991800 ; at this period he warned Nelson with great frank- 
ness of the danger he was running from his connexion with Lady 
Hamilton. He was First Sea Lord of the Admiralty under St. Vincent 
from 1801 to 1804, when he attained flag rank, and early in 1805 he 
took the Blenheim out to join Pellew in the command of the East 
India Station. This station was to have been divided between them, 
but Pellew objected and there was some friction between the two 
Admirals. It was settled, after reference to the Admiralty, by orders 


to Troubridge to take his command to the Cape of Good Hope and 
to leave the East to Pellew. On the way to this new station, in 
January 1807, the Blenheim, long known to be unseaworthy, was lost 
with all hands in a hurricane off Madagascar. 



Admiral, fourth son of the first Earl Cornwallis, saw his first service 
in the Navy in the Seven Years' War under Boscawen at Louisburg 
and under Hawke at Ouiberon. He got command of a sloop in 1762. 
In the American War he was with Lord Howe in North America and 
with Byron on the West India Station, where for a time he commanded 
a small squadron and made fast friendship with Nelson. He was 
with Rodney in 1782, and was present at the great victory over de 
Grasse. During his brother's conduct of the war against Tippoo 
the third Mysoor War he was Commander-in-Chief on the East 
India Station and sparred a little (although we were at peace with 
France) with a French commodore ; and when the Great War began 
he took Chandernagore and Pondichery. He attained flag rank in 
1793, and returned to Europe early next year. He was in the Channel 
and did good service there in 1795, but from 1796, in consequence of 
a dispute with the Admiralty, ending in a court martial which slightly 
censured him, was unemployed during the remainder of Pitt's Adminis- 
tration. In 1803, St. Vincent being then at the Admiralty, Cornwallis 
was sent to keep the great watch off Brest which he never intermitted 
till Trafalgar was won. ' Nelson's pursuit of Villeneuve would have 
been in vain but for the tenacity of Cornwallis ', says Mahan. Winter 
and summer, in the fierce Atlantic gales, a force varying from ten to 
twenty-four sail-of-the-line lay there, only running out to sea or 
across to Falmouth or Plymouth for a few hours' rest in such weather 


From an engraving by Mdlle. Bourlier after 
a drawing by W. Evans 




From the copy by \V. M. Skinner of the portrait by 
Collins in the Gallery at Greenwich Hospital 


From the portrait by William Owen. R.A., 
in the Gallery at Greenwich Hospital 

B\RT.. G.C.B. 

From the portrait by Robert Evans in the Gallery 
at Greenwich Hospital 

Face f. 54 


as would make it impossible for the French to put out. When the 
news of Villeneuve's return to Europe was brought to England, 
Cornwallis, by the order of Lord Barham, sent Sir Robert Calder 
from before Ferrol to intercept him, and it was not his fault that 
Calder, after a partial action, let Villeneuve pursue his way and join 
the Spaniards in Ferrol. There has been much controversy in recent 
years on the wisdom of the strategy which led to the detachment of 
Calder ; and the general result has been, not only to exonerate Calder 
from much of the blame given to him at the time, but also to set 
Cornwallis, as warden both of the Channel and the Atlantic, upon 
a very high pinnacle as a strategist. Cornwallis had no further active 



Admiral, of the old Scottish family of the Lords Elphinstone, was 
a great-nephew of that stout old Jacobite the Earl Marischal, and 
of James Keith, who became one of Frederick the Great's best soldiers. 
He entered the Navy in 1761, got his first command (in the Mediter- 
ranean) in 1772, saw a good deal of service in the American War, sat 
in Parliament after the Peace for two Scottish counties successively, 
and, on the outbreak of the Great War, commanded a seventy-four 
in Hood's Mediterranean fleet. He performed feats of gallantry and 
skill at Toulon, and attained flag rank in 1794. The Dutch had not 
yet been swept into the net of the French Republic, and Elphinstone 
was sent with a squadron to protect the Cape of Good Hope and 
their settlements in the Far East against the French. He found, 
however, when he reached the Cape, that the Dutch opposed a tough 


resistance against such protection. He took the colony by force, 
and sailed on to Madras ; in the capture of Ceylon which followed 
he had no personal share, but he received the surrender of a small 
Dutch fleet at the Cape on the way home. He got a peerage in 1797. 
He next commanded at Sheerness, and helped much in quelling the 
mutiny at the Nore. In the Mediterranean, after the battle of the 
Nile, at first under Lord St. Vincent and then in command of the 
station, Keith had a weary chase after the French Admiral Bruix, 
who, getting out of Brest, made his famous raid of 1799 through the 
Straits and out again ; Keith finally pursued him back into Brest, 
but never caught him, and was blamed for his failure. In the next 
year his flag-ship, the Queen Charlotte, was accidentally burned when 
off the coast of Tuscany ; but he repudiated the Convention of El 
Arish, sealed up the remains of Bonaparte's army in Egypt, and 
convoyed the British force that was to cut them off in 1801. 

When war broke out again in 1803, and invasion was feared, 
Keith's sphere of the defence was the North Sea and Eastern Channel, 
with the Downs as rendezvous. After Trafalgar, though he still held 
the highest commands, he spent little time afloat himself. 

It is interesting to see that in his old age he married that daughter 
of Mrs. Thrale's whom all good lovers of Dr. Johnson know in her 
childhood as ' Queenie '. 



Admiral, flag-captain of Nelson at Trafalgar, was the offspring of 
two good old Dorset families, entered the Navy at twelve, but went 
for three years to school after that date ; he then had a period of 
activity in a merchant vessel, and rejoined the service in 1790. His 
first service under Nelson was in the Mediterranean, probably before, 
but certainly as early as 1796, and Nelson formed the highest opinion 
of his gallantry and seamanship. Hardy fought in a frigate at Cape 
St. Vincent and got his first command (a prize) soon afterwards. 
He fought, still in command of that prize (the Muiine), at the Nile, 
and was posted to the flagship, the Vanguard, immediately afterwards. 
He served with Nelson at Naples, and commanded the Foudroyant 
when the Genereux was taken off Malta. He was on the edge of the 
battle, but not in the battle, of Copenhagen, because his ship, the 
5^. George, drew too much water ; but it was he who had sounded the 
channel to be followed by the ships that were actually engaged. He 
commanded the Victory through the long and arduous blockade of 
Toulon, 1803-5, through the chase of Villeneuve to the West Indies 
and back again, and through the battle of Trafalgar. Nelson fell 
on his quarterdeck and at his side, and spoke some of his last words 
to and of him. During Nelson's three hours of suffering Captain 
Hardy visited him more than once and reported the progress of the 
fight, but was not present at the actual death. He received a baronetcy, 
served on the North American Station, and in Berkeley's fleet off 
Portugal during the Peninsular War, and again in American waters 
during the war of 1813, but he did not reach flag rank till 1825. He 
was First Sea Lord in Lord Grey's Government in 1830, and died 


Governor of Greenwich Hospital, beloved by all, and especially by 
the old sailors under his charge. 

Such men as he are too easily forgotten in our days ; the writer 
of this notice once pointed out to a highly intelligent but modern- 
minded man, who was sitting with him on Bindon Hill, the distant 
' Hardy monument ', which rises as a land- and sea-mark above the 
hero's old home ; and this man, a stranger to Dorset, and never 
having heard of Sir Thomas Hardy, believed that the column had 
been erected in honour of a popular novelist of the same name (who 
was and is still living), and appeared to be quite distressed when he 
was enlightened. 



statesman, scholar, and friend of Johnson and Burke, was the son of 
Colonel William Windham, of Felbrigg, Norfolk, and Sarah Hicks. 
He succeeded in boyhood to his rich and ancient family estate, became 
an ardent and proficient scholar, mathematician, and philosopher at 
Eton, Glasgow, and University College, Oxford, was for a very brief 
time Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1783, entered 
Parliament in 1784, helped his friend Burke to impeach Hastings, 
and then followed him into his open and outspoken opposition to the 
French Revolution. Of all the Whigs who joined Pitt under Burke's 
auspices in 1794 Windham was the most single-minded, the most 
ardent for a war a outrance ; indeed he thought of that war too much 
in the character of a crusade. He became Secretary at War with 
a seat in the Cabinet, visited, as few war ministers had ever done, 
the actual seat of the campaign while York was fighting in Flanders, 
was entrusted with the management of relations with the emigres, 

From the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds. P. R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 5X 


and always considered, rightly or wrongly, that the Government 
ought to have paid more attention to them and to La Vendee. He 
was very largely responsible for the failure at Quiberon in 1795, and 
it is to be feared that he was often deceived by French adventurers 
and by honest though unpractical royalist zealots. He was a sharp 
and no doubt a wise critic of many of Dundas's minor expeditions, 
but he was too much a critic by nature to be a very efficient adminis- 
trator. Yet many of his plans were well laid, and he was zealous 
for higher pay in the ranks and for pensions to disabled soldiers. 
He staunchly supported all measures for the maintenance of internal 
order. He was a strong pro-Catholic, and eager to resign office when 
Catholic emancipation could not be added to the Irish Union. As 
became the pupil of Burke, he opposed the Peace of Amiens, and lost 
his seat for Norwich in consequence. He flung himself into the fore- 
front of the opposition to Addington ; but, when Pitt resumed office 
in 1804, preferred to stand aside with Grenville and let his old leader 
fight his last battle unaided ; it is hard to forgive him for this. He 
became Secretary for War and Colonies in the ' Ministry of All the 
Talents ', and it was then that he propounded his ' General Training 
Act ', for training the whole population to arms in batches of 200,000 
at a time, together with his more doubtfully wise scheme of short 
service, of which none of the great contemporary soldiers approved. 
As champion of his own scheme, and not from mere factiousness, he 
opposed Castlereagh's proposals for reorganizing the Army and 
Militia, and was equally hostile to the attack on the Danes in 1807 
and to the descent on Walcheren in 1809 ; but he was a thorough 
supporter of the Peninsular War, although he lived to see but two 
of its campaigns. 

As a speaker in Parliament Windham was in the very first rank, 
from his wit, his liveliness, and his great natural cleverness. As 
a sportsman, scholar, and patron of the prize-ring, he was in the first 
rank also. As an administrator he was not so successful ; he was 
too much at the mercy of the ' latest plausible opinion ', occasionally 


of the newest plausible scoundrel, and some of his enterprises were 
mistakes of the same kind as those made by Dundas which he had 
himself criticized. He could not translate his own admirable theories 
into facts ; he had none of Castlereagh's patience or diligent devotion 
to business. 

It was, then, as a man and a friend, and above all as the last and 
dearest of Johnson's young friends, rather than as a statesman, that 
Windham should be remembered ; and in this capacity it is impossible 
not to love him. There were many persons whom, ' though Whigs, 
Johnson valued highly ', but was there any one else to whom he said, 
' with a pleasant smile, " Don't be afraid, Sir, you will soon make 
a very pretty rascal " ' ? This was when Windham was entering 
office under the Coalition in 1783. Surely in no one else's favour 
did Johnson ever go the length of making, in his wish to pay a hearty 
compliment, a misquotation from Horace. To Windham Johnson 
on his death-bed recommended his servant, Frank, and, during those 
last days, Windham, the spoiled darling of society, with his own 
political career just beginning, hung round the door in Bolt Court, 
craving, and often being permitted to enjoy, a few minutes by John- 
son's bedside, to move a pillow for him, or to press him to take a little 
milk. Their parting farewell was spoken on the night of December 
I2th ; Johnson died on the I3th, and Windham was one of the 
pall-bearers at his funeral. 



dramatist and politician, was the son of a clever, if pedantic, dramatist 
and actor-manager, and the grandson of a witty Irish Jacobite parson, 
who had been a friend of Swift and had lost his living by preaching, 
on the anniversary of the accession of George I, from the text, ' Suffi- 
cient for the day is the evil thereof '. Richard's mother was a lady of 
considerable dramatic talent also. Richard was educated at Harrow, 
and eloped to France at twenty-three with the beautiful singer, Miss 
Linley, from Bath, in order to help her escape from an unprincipled 
admirer, with whom he subsequently fought two duels. He had 
married the lady privately in France, and a year later married her 
publicly. His first drama, The Rivals, was produced at the beginning 
of 1775, and in the next year he bought Garrick's half-share in Drury 
Lane Theatre for 10,000, although no one knows whence he obtained 
the money to do so. He wrote other plays and an opera called The 
Duenna (much admired at the time, and considered by Byron to be 
superior to The Beggars' Opera] ; but the two which have survived, 
and probably will together with The Rivals survive for a very 
long time, were respectively produced in 1777 and 1779, The School 
for Scandal and The Critic. These successes at once procured Sheridan's 
admission to the best literary society in London ; it was Johnson 
himself who proposed him for ' The Club ' (1777). He entered Parlia- 
ment in 1780 as a Foxite Whig, and became Under-Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs in the Rockingham, and Secretary to the Treasury 
in the Coalition, Government. For these posts it is quite clear he 
had no qualification whatever except his magnificent oratorical gift. 
His personal good nature and ready wit, and, it must be added, his 
literary talents, endeared him to the Prince of Wales, to whom he 
gave much unofficial advice ; he championed the Prince's unfortunate 
and unconstitutional claim to be Regent without an Act of Parliament 


in 1788. Of the band of brilliant Whig orators who joined to persecute 
Hastings he was the chief ornament, and his speeches upon the ' Begums 
of Oude ', both in the Commons and at the impeachment, were reckoned 
the greatest masterpieces of that age of words. What were Begums 
to him or he to Begums ? they were at least pegs upon which to hang 
a reputation. Sheridan subsequently did good service in Parliament 
to better causes than this ; not only was he a steady champion of 
Reform, and a leader of attack against many real grievances, but, 
in the crisis of the mutiny at the Nore, in the dark days of the invasion 
scare, in the matter of raising volunteers (of one regiment of which he 
became Colonel), in the opening and the maintenance of the Peninsular 
War, he showed himself a true patriot, although, as an eloquent 
Irishman and friend of Grattan, he naturally did his utmost against 
the Union. In the Coalition of 1806 he became Treasurer of the 
Navy, but soon afterwards was unable to bear the expense of parlia- 
mentary elections, and dropped out of political life. 

His affairs, perhaps never sound since the acquisition of the 
great theatre, perhaps merely involved owing to his natural generosity 
and scrupulous refusal of all pecuniary gratifications, received a most 
serious blow when, in 1791, old Drury Lane became unsafe and had 
to be rebuilt at a vast cost ; and a mortal blow when, after the re- 
building, it was burned down in 1809. The event, and Mr. Whit- 
bread's share in the rebuilding of the theatre, are celebrated in Rejected 
Addresses, but the authors of that witty work omit to state that the 
canting Whig brewer withheld from Sheridan a sum of 12,000, to 
which he was lawfully entitled, until the great dramatist had been 
arrested for debt (1813). Sheridan had no pension, and only a small 
place as Receiver of the Duchy of Cornwall, and he died very deeply 
in debt. His party did nothing for him, and perhaps Mr. Lang's epigram 
' You would have said he was not the stuff they make Whigs of ' affords 
some explanation of the fact. What had Sheridan's bright spirit to 
do with the ponderous Grey and Grenville gang ? If Fox or Burke 
had lived we may well believe he would not have been so neglected. 

W C^ 


o s 

^ o 

O w 

< 2 6 

!fl K 

face p. 62 


As a dramatist his fame is well established, and perhaps immortal ; 
and it must be remembered that he was not only master of the perfect 
' Comedy of manners ' but also of the very best form of burlesque, 
never degenerating into vulgarity, and without a trace of real coarse- 
ness in it. Goldsmith wrote one perfect comedy which still holds 
the stage ; Sheridan wrote two, each in its way superior to Goldsmith's, 
each in fact second to none but to the comedy of Shakespeare. 



jurist and Solicitor-General, was of Huguenot descent, his grand- 
father having been a refugee from France at the date of the persecution 
of 1685. His father was in business as a jeweller, and we have much 
information concerning his family and his own early years in an 
autobiographical narrative which Romilly began in 1796 and resumed 
in 1813. He was a boy of unusually nervous and morbid disposition, 
and supped full of the horrors of history, contracting therefrom not 
only a certain intolerance of existing institutions but a melancholy 
outlook on life. A man of deeply religious temperament and sincere 
piety is generally very unhappy when he loses faith in revealed religion, 
and it was Romilly's misfortune to suffer this loss. He passed suc- 
cessively under the influence of Rousseau and of the Encyclopaedists, 
and became the intimate friend of Mirabeau's friend Etienne Dumont 
of Geneva, and thereby a friend of Mirabeau himself, and a pupil of 
the clever but shallow Genevese school of publicists. These opinions, 
strengthened by journeys to the Continent, brought him the acquain- 
tance of Bentham and of Bentham's strange ally, the disappointed 
politician Shelburne, who in 1786 was rapidly ripening into a bitter 
Radical reformer. Romilly was as logical as Bentham and far more 
practical ; his mind was also infinitely more masculine than those of 


the frothmongers of the budding French Revolution ; much as he 
disliked Mirabeau's loose life he saw in Mirabeau a man head and 
shoulders above his political associates ; and it was for Mirabeau 
that he drafted in 1789 an abstract of the Rules of Procedure of the 
British House of Commons for the use of the States-General of France. 
It would have been well for France if these rules had been assimilated 
and followed. Romilly, who had been called to the English Bar in 
1783, had gone on circuit, and had laid the foundation of a good 
practice ; he was in France during the early stages of the Revolution, 
and was hand and glove with the ' men of 1789 ' (of whom he has 
left a series of short portraits) ; he published on his return a pamphlet 
on the Probable Influences of the French Revolution on Great Britain. 
He was for some time a rival of his friend Erskine as a defender of 
seditious persons on trial, but, as he was a far sounder lawyer, so he 
was a less brilliant advocate than Erskine. He entered the House of 
Commons as Solicitor-General in the ' Talents ' Ministry of 1806, 
and at once began to display his full power as a reformer of legal 
abuses, especially those of the criminal law. His most valuable 
civil-law reform was the Bankruptcy Law of 1806. He had been 
from his youth a student of Beccaria's great work Dei Delitti e delle 
Pene, and his Memoirs are full of his own humane horror at the cruel 
punishments then frequently inflicted on soldiers and sailors, and at 
the excessive number of crimes still nominally punishable by death. 
The result of this state of the law was that juries frequently refused 
to convict prisoners, and so Romilly was able to argue that nine 
criminals out of every ten escaped all punishment. To the cause of 
amendment of the Criminal Law Romilly, who of course went out of 
office with the Whigs in 1807, devoted the remainder of his life, and 
he was an admirable pleader for it cold, severe, logical, deeply 
learned in principles, and experienced in practice. He did not succeed 
in carrying many of his proposals, but he carried some ; and on his 
death handed on the torch to the weaker hands of Mackintosh, from 
whom it passed to the stronger hands of Robert Peel. It was Romilly's 


misfortune that the opponents of these reforms, such as Lord Eldon, 
were able to point at him as a man dangerous from his other political 
opinions, as the former friend of the French Revolutionists, now the 
supporter of Whitbread, the advocate of Napoleon, and to some 
extent the champion of Burdett. The truth is that, while Romilly 
was the champion of many noble causes, Catholic Emancipation, 
abolition of slavery, free import of corn, and above all of a more 
merciful criminal code, he could never shake himself free from his 
more purely political traditions of semi-republican opposition to the 
Government of his own country, either during or after its life-and- 
death struggle for the very existence of Great Britain. His mind 
was unhinged by the loss of his wife and he committed suicide in 
1818. He was the father of the Lord Romilly who sat as Master of 
the Rolls from 1851 till 1873. 



Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was the son of an Irish barrister who had 
been born a Catholic and turned Protestant. He was educated at 
Trinity College Dublin and at Christ Church, was called to the Irish 
Bar, and made an ample fortune. He was an excellent lawyer, and, 
when promoted to the Chancellorship in 1789, a most upright judge, 
as well as a legal reformer of advanced Liberal views. He entered 
the Irish Parliament in 1778 as an opponent of Grattan, but did not 
very actively contest the grant of parliamentary independence in 
1782. He became Attorney-General in 1783, and then stepped 
forward as the ' strong man ' of the Castle party against every pro- 
posed measure for the reform of the corrupt Irish House of Commons, 

H.P. IV F 


and against every proposal of justice and equality for the Catholics. 
These views were expressed with a vehemence and a contemptuous 
cynicism which soon made Fitzgibbon the best-hated man in Ireland ; 
and they were doubly disastrous because of the judicial integrity, 
high character, and great intellectual power which he undoubtedly 
possessed. In many other respects he showed himself wise and 
liberal ; for instance, he supported Pitt's measure of 1785 in favour 
of free trade, he denounced the ignorance and greed of his brother 
landlords, especially their leases of rents to middlemen ; and he was 
himself a most indulgent landlord. But on politics and religion he 
was the uncompromising champion of the Protestant and British 
ascendancy ; he held to the theory that the English were still a 
' garrison ' in Ireland, and that they could govern only by fear and 
repression. At what date the idea of the parliamentary union with 
Great Britain took shape in Lord Clare's mind it is impossible to say, 
but probably this was long before it had come within the sphere of 
practical politics ; from the date of the first mutterings of the rebellion 
(and we may place these at least as early as 1794) it is certain that 
he looked to it as the one remedy. Unfortunately, with his deter- 
mination to force this Union through was combined the resolve that 
Catholic emancipation should form no part of it, and to him more 
than any one must be attributed the hasty recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, 
who had excited the hopes of the Catholics, in 1795. A visit which 
Clare paid to Pitt in October, 1798, is usually accepted as the point 
at which the Union was finally determined, and it seems probable 
that, although Pitt intended to bring in a Bill for Catholic Emancipa- 
tion in the United Parliament when the Union should have been 
passed, he was persuaded by Clare at the date of this visit not to let 
the two measures come at the same time. On Clare in the Irish 
House of Lords, as on Castlereagh in the Commons, fell the whole 
task of defending the Union, and each fought the battle with cool 
and unwavering courage ; but, while Castlereagh conciliated, Clare 
embittered his opponents. When all was over and Clare learned that 


From a mezzotint by C. Turner, A.R.A., after 
a portrait by John Hoppner, R.A. 


From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. 
at Windsor Castle 


From the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynold?. P R A , 

at Windsor Castle 


From the portrait by William Owen, R.A., at 

Corpus Christi College. Oxford 

Face l>. 66 


the Government intended at once to gratify the Catholics, he turned 
upon it with great fierceness. Whether or no his influence was brought 
to bear on King George, he spared no pains to embarrass his late 
allies ; and he just lived to see his policy triumph with the resignation 
of Pitt on the Catholic question itself. His death in the following year 
released every one from considerable anxiety. 



Lord Chancellor, was the son of an East-Anglian clergyman, and 
probably of the same family as that from which came Cromwell's 
excellent secretary Thurloe. He was educated at King's School 
Canterbury, and Caius College Cambridge, but was sent down from 
the latter on account of some severe sarcasms uttered against the 
Dean. He was a fellow pupil of Cowper in a lawyer's office in Holborn, 
and was called to the Bar in 1754. His advocacy in the Douglas Case 
got him preferment and notice, and he took silk very young, entered 
the House of Commons in 1765 and became Solicitor-General in 1770, 
Attorney-General in the next year. He succeeded Bathurst as 
Chancellor in 1778, and, except during the Coalition Ministry of 1783, 
retained the Great Seal until 1792. After his resignation in that year, 
although he frequently reappeared and made speeches in the House 
of Lords, his political influence was gone. 

Thurlow is a striking instance of a man of constitutional indolence 
and dissipated character rising to hold the highest legal office without 
being either a great lawyer, a stable politician, or a good man. He 
had, however, great perspicacity of intellect and unblushing impu- 
dence, ' a head of crystal and nerves of brass '. He was upright as 



a judge, and, even if his judgements were not of his own composition, 
they were seldom reversed. His presence was most imposing, and 
every one is familiar with Fox's epigram ' No one ever was so wise as 
Lord Thurlow looked ' ; he was terrible to counsel who had to plead 
before him. In politics he was an exceedingly able debater, with an 
amazing memory, great humour and sarcasm, and a power of dealing 
thrusts which ran deep into his opponents. But he was utterly 
insincere and self-seeking, and it was not long before both friends 
and opponents found this out. To the King he at first endeared 
himself by his fearless championship of the cause of the Mother Country 
against the Colonies, and it was the King who kept him in office 
through Rockingham's and Shelburne's Governments, and who thrust 
him upon Pitt after the fall of the Coalition. It was Thurlow whom 
the King selected to tell the members of the Upper House that any 
one who voted for Fox's India Bill would be regarded as his enemy. 
Thurlow rewarded this royal favour with a famous piece of treachery 
at the date of the Regency question in November 1788 ; behind the 
back of his colleagues he intrigued with the Prince of Wales, with 
a view to being continued in office if the Prince should become Regent 
and dismiss Pitt. This treachery made his subsequent peroration in 
the House of Lords on December i5th, ' If I forget my King may my 
God forget me ! ' the subject of two immortal pleasantries ; Wilkes, 
who was standing on the steps of the throne, remarked, ' He will see 
you damned first ! ' and Burke, with better taste, added, ' The best 
thing that could happen to you ! ' while Pitt exclaimed, ' Oh, the 
villain ! the villain ! ' Yet for three years more Pitt had to endure 
the villain as a colleague, and to submit to having his best measures 
thwarted by him. George III was characteristically slow to discover 
the iniquity of a man who after all had stood by the throne in the 
dark days of 1778-84, but, when he finally made up his mind to 
dismiss Thurlow, he showed him no further favour. Thurlow after his 
retirement courted the Prince of Wales, and steadily opposed Pitt in 



Lord Chancellor, son of the tenth Earl of Buchan and of Agnes Stewart 
of Goodtrees, was born at Edinburgh and educated at St. Andrews. 
He entered the Navy in his fifteenth year, exchanged this for the 
Army in his eighteenth, and during his time in both services was 
a diligent student of letters, poetry, and law. He married at twenty- 
one, and being very poor, of a very poor family, and without prospects, 
determined to abandon the Service for the Bar. For this purpose he 
matriculated at Trinity, Cambridge, in 1776, and proceeded M.A. in 
1778, in which year he was called to the Bar. Already as a young 
lieutenant he had published attacks on the Army, which would not 
now be tolerated, and he obtained a large practice almost at once by 
the ingenuity and vivacity of his arguments in the case of Rex versus 
Baillie, which arose from an attack made by Thomas Baillie on Lord 
Sandwich, then First Lord of the Admiralty. Erskine also defended 
Keppel on his court martial, and defended Lord George Gordon on 
his trial for high treason after the riots connected with Gordon's name. 
He took silk in 1783, and made by his practice a fortune enormous 
for those days. He entered Parliament during the Coalition Ministry, 
and attached himself closely to the Whigs, but he was a failure at 
St. Stephens, being always intensely self-conscious and thinking 
mainly of effect, and he was out of Parliament from 1784 till 1790. 
When the Great War began, Erskine, who had just defended Tom 
Paine on his trial for libelling the Prince of Wales, adhered to the 
Foxite section of the Whigs, and helped to found the Radical and 
Revolutionary Clubs against which the Government found it necessary 
to direct sharp measures. Although ineffective in Parliament against 


these measures, Erskine increased his fame and piled up his fees m 
defending those Radicals who were accused of sedition, libel, and 
treason, his greatest effort perhaps being his defence of Hardy, 
Home Tooke, and Thelwall in 1794. All the time there was an under- 
current of suspicion in men's minds that this brilliant advocate had his 
political price, and it seems fairly certain that he made advances to 
Pitt at least once before the close of Pitt's first Ministry. But nothing 
came of these advances, and Erskine received his first reward, and 
one far beyond his deserts, when, in default of any better qualified 
lawyer, he became Lord Chancellor in the ' Talents ' Ministry of 1806. 
During his brief tenure of the Great Seal he had little influence on 
politics, and his own colleagues almost ostentatiously neglected him, 
while, as a lawyer, he was in reality unacquainted with the principles 
either of Common Law or Equity. From his resignation in 1807 
he had no political importance, though in his old age he interested 
himself in opposing in the House of Lords the measures of Liverpool's 
Government for the repression of sedition in 1817-19, and in resisting 
Queen Caroline's Divorce Bill. As an advocate, and in one particular 
branch of an advocate's profession, he was great ; he could defend 
with fervid eloquence any person whom he believed to be persecuted 
by any Government. For this attitude expressed his own political 
convictions, while its results ministered to his inordinate vanity. 



was the son of a hairdresser at Canterbury, and was educated at the 
King's School in that city. He narrowly missed becoming a chorister 
in the Cathedral, and being an excellent scholar won a scholarship at 
Corpus Christi College Oxford, and in due time a Fellowship, went 
to the Temple in 1787 and obtained a great practice, in the now obsolete 
art of the ' special pleader ', before his call, which was not till 1796. 
He speedily got Government work in the State trials of the day, 
as well as a great deal of commercial practice owing to his knowledge 
of maritime and mercantile law, on which he published an authoritative 
text-book in 1802. He became a Judge of the Common Pleas in 1816, 
and succeeded Ellenborough as Chief Justice of the King's Bench 
two years later. He obtained his peerage in 1827, and died in harness 
in 1832. 

The Act known as ' Lord Tenterden's Act ', 9 Geo. IV, c. 14, 
greatly improves and simplifies the Law of Contract, which the 'Statute 
of Frauds ' and its interpretation had left in a tangle ; in particular 
it makes writing necessary in the case of ratification after majority 
of contracts entered into during infancy. A later Act of equal impor- 
tance, known as the ' Prescription Act ', 2 and 3 Will. IV, c. 71, is 
also his work ; roughly speaking it makes continuous user of any 
right of way, access, or light for twenty consecutive years equivalent 
to prescription, and so abrogates the fiction of such user having 
originated in a grant. Tenterden had the courage to lay down in 
1827, in the case of Beckwith versus Philby, that where a felony has 
been committed, a private person is justified in arresting and giving 
into custody another person whom he has reasonable grounds for 
believing to be the felon, and that a constable is justified in doing 


a similar act, without certain knowledge, but with reasonable grounds 
to suspect, that a felony has been committed. He was no law reformer 
in the sense of Romilly, and was perhaps too much opposed to the 
abolition of the death penalty, but he was a great simplifier of the 
Law ; his judgements are singularly free from technicalities, and are 
models of lucidity without verbosity. A strong Tory, he could never, 
as Ellenborough could occasionally, be accused of partiality on the 
Bench ; but he was an outspoken opponent of the measures for 
emancipation of Dissenters and Roman Catholics in 1828-9, an d. 
with more reason, of the Reform Bill of 1832, the ultimate results of 
which he foresaw. 



was the son of the second Duke and of Sarah Cadogan, and the great- 
grandson of King Charles II. He was educated at Westminster and 
Leyden, and served in the Army during the Seven Years' War, having 
succeeded to the Dukedom in 1750. He held office as Secretary of 
State in Rockingham's first Ministry, and in a minor position in his 
second. During the period that intervened he had been rapidly 
developing into an advanced and somewhat unsteady Radical. He 
quarrelled with Chatham on more than one occasion, and hotly sup- 
ported the cause of the Colonists in the American Rebellion. In 1780 
he brought forward a Reform Bill which contained the three main 
points of the subsequent ' People's Charter '. After Rockingham's 
death he continued to sit in the Shelburne Cabinet, though he had 
little agreement with his colleagues and opposed several of their 
measures, including the terms of the Peace of Versailles. His stanch 


From the portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, belonging to 
the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, K.G.. at Goodwood 


From the portrait, probably by Adam Buck, in the 
National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by James I.onsdale in the 

National Poi trait Gallery 


From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., 

in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face />. 72 


championship of Pitt, whose colleague he became in 1784, brought 
him a complete reconciliation with the King. From this time onwards 
his Radicalism abated, though on one awkward occasion (1794) his 
former zeal for Reform was thrown in his teeth. But always he was 
the most difficult of colleagues, ready to take offence and even to 
send challenges, zealous to discover abuses, but unstable in prosecuting 
any cause upon which he embarked. He was a Fellow of the Royal 
Society without much claim to that honour, and had a considerable 
taste in paintings and sculptures. As Lord Lieutenant of Sussex, 
during the invasion scare 1803-5, he- was the life and soul of the 
defensive measures in that district. 



was a cadet of the House of Arniston, his father, Robert, being Lord 
President ; by his mother's side he was a Gordon of Invergordon. 
His education was at the High School and the University of Edin- 
burgh. Dundas rapidly got a large practice at the Scottish Bar and 
entered Parliament, as a supporter of North, in 1774 ; he was made 
Lord Advocate in 1775, and held on to his place through the Roc king- 
ham and Shelburne Ministries. In the latter he became Treasurer 
of the Navy, and was made Keeper of the Scottish Signet, which 
practically meant that he was to be the fountain of Government 
patronage in Scotland, and this patronage he retained and exercised 
with vigour until his death. His interest in Indian affairs dates from 
1781, when he was Chairman of a Committee of Inquiry on the subject 
of our East Indian possessions. He denounced Fox's India Bill 
during the Coalition Government of 1783, for he had ready a Bill 


of his own, which became Pitt's East India Bill of 1784. Under this 
Dundas got a seat on the India Board, and practically governed 
British Hindostan thenceforward. It would be a mistake to say that 
he foresaw the greatness of the Indian Empire, but he had some 
shrewd ideas concerning its value and the dangers that threatened it. 
It was in his time that the Civil Service in the East became the close 
preserve of able young Scotsmen. He was not consistent in his 
treatment of Warren Hastings, whom he had once called the ' saviour 
of India ', and it is probable that his advice induced Pitt to vote as 
a parliamentary move, on one count in the impeachment, against 
Hastings ; yet in other political relations, and in all private ones, 
Dundas was a stanch and loyal friend ; he may have been a bad 
adviser of Pitt, but of his loyalty there can be no doubt. In 1789 
he was offered the highest judicial post in Scotland, the Presidency 
of the Court of Session, but refused it ; he preferred, thinks Mr. 
Fortescue, to remain chief wirepuller to the Government at West- 
minster ; and of mere political tactics he was a consummate master. 
Pitt, according to this view, did not realize that his wires were being 
pulled ; ' every act of Dundas ', he said, ' is as much mine as his '. 
Dundas had again become Treasurer of the Navy on Pitt's accession 
to power, and in 1791 he became Home Secretary. There was then 
neither for War nor Colonies a separate office, and only in 1794 was 
a Secretaryship for War severed from the grip of a new Home Secretary 
(Portland) and entrusted to Dundas ; this carried with it, not of 
course the control of the Navy itself, but the disposal of the Navy as 
a strategical factor in the war. 

Ever since the publication of the fourth volume of Mr. Fortescue's 
great History of the British Army Henry Dundas has been standing 
at the bar on his trial for a mismanagement of the Great War from 
1793-1800. The indictment almost amounts to one for manslaughter 
on a colossal scale ; and it must at once be admitted that counsel 
for the defence has a hard task. Unfortunately Pitt had ' studiously 
neglected ' both the fighting services. Neither he nor Dundas knew 


anything about war, and Dundas undertook the Great War, first as 
Home Secretary, then as specialist, with a light heart and from a purely 
' political ' point of view. He would ' make it pay ', and would 
please the British merchants by the seizure of the French West Indies ; 
he would also seize Dunkirk, or Toulon, or both. It was the same 
story down to the Peace of Amiens ; Dundas never grasped strategy 
upon a great, hardly even upon a little, scale. His one idea was to 
fritter away, in a series of small expeditions, small bodies of men in 
driblets of 10,000, 5,000, or even 2,000 at a time with the result 
that in a short time an appalling total of loss of valuable lives was 
reached in return for very trifling success, and this success was only 
in the West Indies, a region known as ' the grave of the British Army '. 
The disastrous campaigns of 1793-4-5 in Belgium and Holland, the 
expedition to La Vendee and the descent on lie d'Yeu, were all equally 
mismanaged ; the Mediterranean was lost by sheer aimlessness. 
The ridiculous little descent on North Holland in 1799 led only to 
the throwing away of more men. Only for the Egyptian business of 
1801 can any praise to Dundas be awarded. This certainly was his 
work alone and was against Pitt's judgement. Yet the number of 
troops dispatched with Abercromby was criminally small, and the 
Minister had little right to expect the success he got. 

The moral of all this accusation is that Dundas was all, and 
always, for small, cheap, and showy expeditions, for ' something 
that would make a noise in the Gazette ' ; soldiers were cheap ; if not 
enough could be raised in England, they could be bought anywhere, 
and any powers could be subsidized ; promises cost even less than 
soldiers, and Dundas usually promised a General or an Admiral or an 
ally twice as many troops as he sent. An answer to the charge is 
not easy to make ; it might, however, be argued, first, that there 
was no very obvious alternative to the ' little strategy ' ; secondly, 
that for each of the details of that strategy plausible reasons could 
generally be found ; and thirdly, that one great invasion of France, 
even as late as 1794, would have been a very dangerous affair. 


Dundas resigned with Pitt in 1801, but accepted a peerage in 
Addington's Government (which was surprising, as he had been 
hitherto more pro-Catholic than Pitt), and tried to induce Pitt to join 
the new Ministry. He was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty 
on his old leader's return to power in 1804, and spent money freely 
for the fleets. He was attacked by Whitbread, purely as a party 
move, in April 1805, for incidents in connexion with his old office of 
Treasurer of the Navy. It was proved, in the famous ' Tenth Report ' 
of a Commission on that office, that Dundas had, during his tenure 
of it, applied sums voted for the Navy to other purposes ; but it was 
never proved that these purposes were at all to his own pecuniary 
gain. On Whitbread's resolution the numbers were equal, and the 
Speaker gave his casting vote in favour of it. Pitt never recovered 
from this blow to the honour of his old friend ; ' Austerlitz might be 
got over ', he said, at the end of that year, ' but not the Tenth Report '. 
Melville resigned the Admiralty, and, a year later, was impeached 
before the House of Lords and acquitted, though not always by large 
majorities, on all the counts. He held no further office and refused 
an earldom in 1809. 



was the son of a disreputable clergyman and schoolmaster of Irish 
extraction, who had been for a month or two Gibbon's tutor. Philip 
was educated at St. Paul's School, and became a good scholar and 
linguist. He was patronized by the first Lord Holland, and obtained 
successively several small posts in Government offices, until in 1762 
he got a clerkship in the War Office. He at once embarked upon that 
career of anonymous journalism which has caused him to be reputed 
the author of the letters of ' Junius ' (1768-72). Certainly both 
Francis and ' Junius ' used knowledge acquired on the back-stairs with 
vitriolic effect ; and it has been suggested that the appointment of 
Francis to a seat on the Indian Council in 1774 was a bribe to silence 
' Junius '. The salary, 10,000 a year, was, for such an esurient 
knave, enormous. From the moment of hfs arrival he never ceased 
to intrigue, by letters to the home Government, and both by under- 
hand and open opposition in India, against the Governor-General, 
Warren Hastings, to whose place he no doubt hoped to succeed. No 
accusation of crime was too ridiculous for Francis to bring forward, 
no native evidence too much tainted for him to use, and even invite ; 
and unfortunately for Hastings 's fame some of the mud which Francis 
threw has stuck, partly owing to Burke's credulous acceptance of 
Francis's inspirations, still more owing to the perversion of the facts 
by Lord Macaulay in his celebrated Essay. So unscrupulous had his 
Councillor's opposition become that in 1779 Hastings challenged 
Francis to a duel and wounded him. After this Francis took little 
part in business and went home late in 1780. He had made a small 
fortune (some of it by successful card-playing) , and he also had the dis- 
reputable distinction of running away with the lady who afterwards, 
under the French Consulate, became Madame Talleyrand ; Francis 
had left his own wife and children in England. 


On his return he continued to be a writer and manufacturer of 
unscrupulous slanders, and to prepare Burke's mind (always at the 
mercy of any one who could pose as a humanitarian, especially if the 
poseur was an ardent Whig) for his revenge upon Hastings. He sat 
in Parliament from 1784-98, and again 1802-7. Although not chosen 
a manager of the impeachment in 1787 he was at the elbow of the 
managers throughout it. He went on from Whiggism to Radicalism 
in his old age, and was an active member of the ' Friends of t*ie People '. 
He was knighted by the Whig Government of 1806. 

It is impossible to enter here upon the question whether or no 
Francis can be identified with ' Junius '. The arguments are summed 
up strongly in favour of Francis by Sir Leslie Stephen in the Dictionary 
of National Biography, and Macaulay's acute mind and wide knowledge 
were upon the same side ; but Sir William Anson, in his edition of 
the Grafton correspondence, and Lord Fitzmaurice, in his admirable 
biography of Shelburne, conclude that ' Junius ' was some one in the 
immediate entourage of Lord Temple. Shelburne himself appears to 
have made two mutually contradictory pronouncements : one that he 
knew who was the author no more than the negro servant who stood 
behind his chair ; the other, when dying, that he, though not ' Junius ', 
knew him well and knew all about the production of the letters, 
adding that ' none of the parties ever guessed at as Junius was the 
true Junius '. 



whose family was originally of Bramcote, Warwickshire, was the fifth 
baronet of his line, was educated at Westminster and Christ Church, 
and married the great heiress Sophia Coutts in his twenty-fourth year. 
He entered Parliament as an advanced Whig in 1796 ; he had already 
had some opportunity of studying the politics of ' advanced Whiggism' 
during a residence in Paris in the early days of the Revolution ; but 
though he attended debates in the Assembly and perhaps at the 
Jacobins (nothing is known for certain), he never seems to have 
quoted French politicians in his vigorous English speeches. He 
succeeded his father in 1797, and became a fighting Radical of the 
best type, hot-blooded, brave, and honourable, though not always 
discreet. There was hardly a real grievance that he did not attack in 
and out of season ; and in his attack upon real grievances he was often 
carried away into wholesale and unjust denunciation of the sorely 
tried Ministry. He was elected for Middlesex in 1802, but a petition 
was presented against his return, which in 1804 was declared void ; 
he stood again, and, after much litigation, was again excluded in 1806. 
Elected in 1807 for Westminster, though he had refused to be a candi- 
date, he held the seat until after the Reform Bill. For reform of Parlia- 
ment he cried day and night ; in 1810 a violation, or alleged violation, 
of the privileges of the House on his part led to an order for his arrest 
being issued by the Speaker. This he refused to obey ; the Radical 
mob of London, with whom Burdett was immensely popular, garrisoned 
his house for him, and the troops had to be called out to enable the 
authorities to force his doors and carry him off to the Tower. He 
enjoyed the distinction of being the last political prisoner confined 
in that comfortable fortress, and he remained there till the prorogation 
of Parliament. He brought, but lost, an action against the Speaker 


for his arrest. It is pleasing to record that in his old age he became 
a sort of Tory, and sat as such for a Wiltshire constituency, after 
resigning his seat for Westminster, until his death. It would be 
a great mistake to think of him as a vain man, gaping after popularity ; 
' sturdy ' is the right epithet for his character, and a simple faith in 
democracy represented his political opinions until he saw them begin 
to triumph with the passing of the Reform Bill. For these opinions 
he was ready to incur great pecuniary losses, and even imprisonment. 
His fortune was ever at the disposal of the men of his party ; no one 
was more ready with enormous bribes in the cause than this reformer ; 
in private life also he was the most generous and straightforward of 
mankind. He was the father of the celebrated Baroness Burdett- 



was the eldest son of Frederick Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe- 
Gotha, and the grandson of George II. He became heir to the throne 
on the death of his father in 1751. Various bishops and peers of no 
special importance or ability had been placed about his person as 
governors or tutors, but the strongest influence was that of his mother 
a good, self-willed, prejudiced woman. She dreaded worldly and 
corrupt examples for him, and preferred to narrow his education 
rather than to risk exposing him to temptations. But she instilled 
high religious principles, and sound private morality, into him, and to 
these he was faithful all his life. Like many other good people, she 
failed to see that idleness is as great a sin as many more ' scarlet ' 
sins, and the boy grew up idle and rather listless, thereby failing to 
improve his very considerable natural talents or to store his excellent 
memory with good things. His after-life proves that he had good 

From the portrait by Allan Ramsay in the National Portrait Gallery 

Facef. 8<> 


taste in literature, art, and music ; he might have been trained to 
a real love of learning, of languages, and of history ; but whatever 
aptitude he displayed for affairs was gained by himself in the school 
of experience after he came to the throne, and he lacked the foundation 
which a good education would have given him. 

George II, with his natural gift for being unpleasant to his 
relations, tried to win the boy's liking away from his mother ; he gave 
him an ' establishment ' when he came of age at eighteen (1756), but 
failed to induce him to set up a Court for himself. The result was that 
his first real counsellor after his mother was her favourite, the Earl of 
Bute, a narrow man, ignorant of English or foreign politics, but not 
without views of what a King ought to be. It is certain that, from 
whatever source he derived it, George came to the throne with the 
settled intention of overthrowing the system of government by family 
groups of great Whig peers and their dependants, perhaps of breaking 
down the system of party altogether. In this effort, which he continued 
all his life, he had in the long run a very fair amount of success ; in 
this he also had the sympathy of the nation, especially of the country 
gentlemen and the middle classes. The Whigs, as Mr. Fortescue 
has pointed out, could never forgive the King the success he obtained, 
and, as the Whigs have written our histories, George III has been 
branded as a would-be despot. The means by which the King sought 
to attain his end were undoubtedly most unscrupulous, for they were 
sheer bribery and jobbery, together with the sealing of the fountain 
of Court favour to all who would not further this end both in Parliament 
and outside it. But these means were precisely those which the Whigs 
themselves had applied for the past forty-six years in order to keep 
the Crown in tutelage, and they were also, by the ' conventions of the 
Constitution ', the only means at the King's disposal. By dint of long 
and often bitter experience the King became an adroit Parliamentary 
election agent, and his industry in the sordid business almost equalled 
that of the old Duke of Newcastle. George was a bad economist, 
although a very economical man, and spent far more than his civil 

H.P. IV G 


list in the ' Secret Service ', and was therefore several times obliged 
to ask Parliament to pay his debts. 

In private life, though his minute and often ridiculous ' cuttings- 
down ' did not save him from debt, he was a man of honour and honesty. 
He had the cool courage of his race ; on the several occasions when his 
life was attempted he showed it ; at the Wilkes riots, and again at 
the Gordon riots, on which occasion London was for three days in the 
hands of a riotous mob, he alone kept his head, when his Ministers and 
magistrates lost theirs. His political courage was, in contrast to his 
grandfather's, equally high. He could face any ' crisis ' and would 
dismiss any Ministers without for the moment knowing where to find 
others ; and this, of itself, endeared him to the nation. He faced the 
American War, not because he had an ignorant desire to punish rebels 
or 'coerce a free people', but because it was his duty to protect those 
(the majority) of his American subjects who wished to remain under 
the flag. He faced the Great War, its long series of military disasters 
abroad, its terrible financial burden and economic distress at home, 
with the most undaunted courage. He faced the invasion scare when 
sixty-five years old and weakened by illness ; if the French had 
landed, he would have headed his Army and retired fighting behind the 
Severn. In these attitudes he had all that was best in the nation 
thoroughly at his back. He had the less enlightened, but infinitely 
the largest, portion of the nation at his back in his resistance to Catholic 
Emancipation and to Parliamentary Reform. The obstinacy of the 
King as well as his firmness were based upon the firmness and the 
prejudices of the British people. 

He was also a man of dogged, if somewhat fussy, industry ; he 
practically acted as his own secretary, read and noted all dispatches 
himself, and often made most valuable suggestions, especially upon 
military matters, upon their margins. Without ever having seen active 
service, he came in time thoroughly to understand the Army and its 
needs, and, though he occasionally perpetrated jobs of his own in it, 
they were never political jobs ; nay, he often rescued and promoted 


deserving officers who were being passed over for political reasons. 
He wrote incessantly, and often tiresomely, to his Ministers, and his 
spelling and syntax frequently caused them to smile. 

He loved homely pleasures, long rides, long walks, hard exercise, 
hunting, yachting, and, above all, farming, in which he displayed much 
intelligence. ' Farmer George ' was a very early nickname for him. But 
he was also keenly interested in mechanics and astronomy, natural 
science, and painting. The infant Royal Academy owed everything to 
him ; Sir William Herschell's discoveries in the heavens owed hardly 
less to his patronage ; Gainsborough was his favourite artist ; Banks, 
one of his most intimate friends, helped him to create the Gardens at 
Kew. The magnificent collection of books called the ' King's Library ', 
now in the British Museum, was George Ill's work. The man who, 
blind and broken in health, loved to listen to the reading of King Lear, 
and who told his daughters they were ' three Cordelias ', was not the 
ignorant, dull-witted creature that he has been represented. There 
was, however, a less amiable side to his private life, whether at Windsor, 
Kew, Richmond, or Buckingham House. George was a stern, unsym- 
pathetic parent ; even to his good Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg, 
whom he married in 1761, he was often rude and cross, and he brought 
up his sons so sternly that they hated and wearied of their home life, 
and most of them ran wild and sowed a heavy crop of wild oats. Nor 
was he a good host or an affable King to his nobility or his Ministers ; 
he stood stiffly for etiquette, and he never made people feel at their 
ease with him. Also he was resentful, suspicious, and very unforgiving. 
He ought to have learned, from his own success in thwarting people, 
how to bear being thwarted in turn, but he never learned this. And 
as, in public life, he often preferred mediocrities like Addington, who 
made no attempt to run counter to his wishes, to great statesmen like 
Pitt, and even trusted out-and-out scoundrels like Henry Fox, Thurlow, 
and Loughborough, and listened to their insinuations against their 
colleagues ; so, in private life, he failed to see the necessity of ' give 
and take ', failed to make allowances for the temptations to which the 



princes were exposed, and would cast them off in displeasure when he 
might have won them back by reason and affection. 

Finally much allowance must always be made for George III on the 
score of his health. For a man who lived to be eighty-two and lived 
an exceedingly healthy and careful life, he was never very strong. 
Some mental trouble was probably present, together with his serious 
bodily illness, as early as 1765 ; in 1788-9 this became temporary 
insanity, and, had he been treated according to the usual methods then 
in vogue, it is likely that he would never have recovered his reason. But 
on that and several other occasions the good Doctor Willis charmed 
it back again. It was difficult to say what would or would not bring 
on an attack ; a frequent condition precedent was some bodily trouble, 
or some over-exertion ; but after his third very short attack in 1801, 
anything that excited him very much might cause derangement of 
mind ; and from that time till his final loss of reason, in the winter 
of 1810, something of the kind was never far away. His blindness has 
perhaps been antedated, but cataract was present from 1805, and 
from 1807 he could see very little and could not read at all. It is 
comforting, yet pathetic, to think that, whereas in the earlier attacks 
of his disease he was violently excitable and needed restraint, in the 
final stage he was exceedingly gentle, was still able to walk, and 
occasionally to ride with a leading rein ; that he loved to have his 
daughters with him, and loved to listen to Handel's music in his 
Chapel. That indeed was his last solace, and he died of mere senile 
decay early in 1820, only fourteen months after his poor pathetic old 
Queen, who had borne him fifteen children. 

There 's monie waur been o' the race, 
And aiblins ane been better. 

So Robert Burns, in his matchless and daring Birthday Ode of 1786, 
called ' A Dream '. It may be doubted if the poet intended the words 
to be altogether complimentary ; but we, with fuller knowledge both 
of George III and of the kings who reigned before him, can more easily 
find the ' monie waur ' than the ' ane better '. 



wife of George III, was Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Carlyle, in 
his Frederick the Great, narrates how ' Colonel Graham the ex- Jacobite, 
hunting about among potential Queens of England for behoof of Bute 
and the King's mother ', came across a letter which this Princess had 
written to Frederick the Great, about the horrors of war. The letter 
is extant, and is in the best style of eighteenth-century German 
sentimentality. The result of this letter, or of some other inquiries, 
was that the Princess was selected as a bride for the young King of 
Great Britain. 

She had a stormy passage to England, landed at Harwich, and 
was married to King George in September 1761. Horace Walpole, who 
saw her at a ball the next day, was favourably impressed by her bearing. 
In later life Melbourne thought her ' plain and small, but of a good 
figure and bearing, with fine hands and feet '. The best account of 
her quiet life of domestic happiness and unostentatious piety is to be 
found in Madame d'Arblay's Diary an account hideously distorted 
and travestied in Macaulay's celebrated Essay. This lady, then 
Frances Burney, was appointed a keeper of the robes to the Queen 
in 1786, and was occasionally employed as a reader. ' She was unre- 
mittingly sweet and gracious,' says Frances, . . . ' the depth and 
soundness of her understanding surprised me ; her conduct was univer- 
sally approved.' Her touching anxiety during the King's illness in 
1788 is described, her joy at his recovery. Miss Burney was in atten- 
dance on her till July 1791 ; occasionally the Queen's Spartan habits 
gave the diarist some occasion to think her mistress ' selfish '. She was 
entirely free from the Court trick of gossip or of seeking to learn gossip 
by way of the back-stairs ; ' she always led me to speak to her with 
openness and ease ' . . . whenever she saw a question painful, or 
that it occasioned even hesitation, she promptly and generously started 


some other subject.' She spoke English with a little accent, which 
Lord Melbourne (who first went to Court in 1803) remembered thinking 
rather pretty. The etiquette at Court he found very strict, in particular 
the newly introduced fashion of the attendants always remaining 
standing. Melbourne also praised her good nature. 

The Queen's home life was extremely happy until the dissolute 
and unfilial character of her eldest son began to bring grief, and this 
was shortly followed by the first mental trouble of the King. On this 
occasion, and also when the King's insanity became permanent, in 1810, 
the care of his person was left entirely in her hands. There must have 
been constant anxiety in her mind after his first attack, and he was 
often ungracious to her, though never so when wholly in health. His 
increasing blindness, from 1805 onwards, gave her further trouble, 
and the remainder of her life must have been sad and lonely. She bore 
fifteen children to George III, and died at Kew fourteen months 
before him. 



the only child of George IV and Caroline of Brunswick, was born at 
Carlton House during the brief union of her parents, who had quarrelled 
before her birth and were never reconciled. After their separation she 
was allowed occasionally to see her mother, but resided at Carlton 
House till 1805, when she was taken to a house at Windsor, Lady Elgin 
being her first governess. George III was devoted to her ; ' Tis very 
odd,' said he, ' she always knows me on horseback.' ' Yes,' said the 
Queen, ' when the King comes to her on horseback, she clasps her 
little hands, and endeavours to say " Gan-pa" immediately ' (1797). 
Madame d'Arblay in 1814 thought her quite beautiful. She was a very 
hot-tempered, high-spirited child, with occasional lapses into the 



From the portrait by Allan Ram?ay in th_- National Portrait Gallery 

Face f 86 


hoydenish bad-manners of her mother ; and it may have been his hatred 
of that mother which made her father so unwilling, both before and 
after he became Prince Regent, to recognize her as heiress to the 
throne. But she learned her position early, and her father's attitude 
towards herself naturally prompted her to take her mother's side in 
the quarrel. She was betrothed in 1813 to the Prince of Orange, heir 
to the throne of Holland, but broke off the match of her own accord 
the next year ; her father was very angry at this, and even her mother 
refused to sympathize much with her. She was sent to Windsor in 
disgrace, and kept in a kind of durance in 1814. In May 1816 she 
was married to Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, afterwards King of the 
Belgians. The Regent hated the marriage, for he had always wanted 
the Prince of Orange for a son-in-law. Charlotte and Leopold spent 
a year and a half of great happiness at Claremont, and the Princess 
died in giving birth to a stillborn child in November 1817. Madame 
d'Arblay speaks of the passionate love of the young couple for each 
other. The grief of the nation for her death was a thing long remem- 
bered ; but that death led to the immediate marriage of the Duke 
of Kent, which was followed by the birth, in 1819, of the Princess 



second son of George III, enjoyed the distinction of being the youngest 
Bishop that ever lived ; he was in fact elected to the ' Bishoprick ' of 
Osnabriick in the sixth month of his life. He retained the title until 
at twenty-one he was created Duke of York and Albany. In his youth 
he was a great friend of his elder brother, and, as he had really dis- 
played from boyhood a serious interest in military affairs, and had been 
made a Colonel at seventeen, it was not unnatural that he should have 
been the destined Commander-in-Chief if the Prince of Wales had 
become Regent in 1788^9. He had been sent to Berlin at the age of 
sixteen to study the profession of arms, and had worked hard while 
there. He married in 1791 a daughter of Frederick William II of 
Prussia, an accommodating and friendly lady, who shut her eyes to 
the Duke's numerous amours, and spent most of her time playing 
with dogs. 

When the Great War began the King insisted that this favourite 
son should be entrusted with the command of the British contingent 
which went to join Coburg's Austrians in Flanders. In this capacity 
the Duke displayed cool personal courage in the field, perfect loyalty 
both towards his allies and to the British Ministry, but no other quality 
useful to the Commander of a great Army. The best thing that could 
be said in his defence was that, if his tactics and his strategy were alike 
weak, those of the Prince of Coburg were even weaker. York had to 
bear the blame for many things for which our Allies were more respon- 
sible than he, and perhaps only a Marlborough or a Wellington could 
then have turned the tide of war. The result was a steady series of 
defeats throughout the years 1793-4, in one of which (May 18, 1794) 
the Duke was ' hunted all over the country by the enemy's dragoons, 
and escaped, as he frankly owned, only by the speed of his horse ' . 
These defeats culminated in the disastrous retreat of 1794-5 into and 

in h 

H 5 

D s 
O '" 




J Q 




through Holland ; the Duke was recalled home in November, 1794. 
It required some courage on the King's part, after this discreditable 
campaign, to make his son ' Field-Marshal on the staff ' (that is, acting 
Commander-in-Chief) in February, 1795, in succession to the veteran 
Amherst, to whose senile inefficiency some part of the bad condition 
of the Army must be ascribed. As it turned out, the appointment was 
an excellent one ; the Duke possessed many of the qualities of a good 
administrator, and, if he had not always an accurate judgement of 
men, at least he never allowed any personal considerations to interfere 
with his appointments. He ' kept politics out of the service ', and 
made a most successful crusade against jobbery and peculation. In 
April 1798 his actual appointment as Commander-in-Chief was gazetted. 
It was exceedingly unfortunate therefore that his useful activities at 
the Horse-Guards were again interrupted in 1799 by his being sent to 
take over the command in North Holland from Abercromby in the ill- 
conceived and worse planned Anglo-Russian campaign of that year. 
Again the Duke failed, and failed with an army which his own reforms 
had begun to weld into a much more efficient instrument of war than 
that with which he had failed in Flanders six years before. This was 
his last active service. He returned (with a fresh gazette) to his post 
of Commander-in-Chief at home in June, 1801. His difficulties were no 
less than before, and his anomalous relation to the Secretary of State 
for War frequently hampered his activity ; for example, he had no 
control whatever over the expenditure of the sums voted for the war, 
nor over the world-strategy ; what he had to do was to furnish troops 
at the time and for the place for which the Ministry needed them, and 
to furnish them in good condition. To do this the Duke set himself 
to know everything he possibly could about his officers ; he held 
regular weekly levees to which the humblest subaltern was welcomed ; 
he listened patiently to every one's complaints, and lie never allowed 
favour to interfere with justice. He created the ' wagon-train ' in 
1799, and maintained it in the teeth of parliamentary opposition ; 
Mr. Fortescue points out that this was done eight years before Napoleon 


himself possessed any organized system of transport. He projected 
and actually set on foot those Colleges for military instruction which 
grew into our Staff-College and our Sandhurst. He insisted that 
officers should treat their men with civility. One of his most important 
ideas, which began to bear fruit in 1803, was the addition of second 
battalions to every infantry regiment. 

In February, 1809, a certain Colonel Wardle, having then under 
his protection Mary Ann Clarke, a woman who had formerly been the 
Duke's mistress, brought, at the instigation of this woman, a charge 
against the Duke of having trafficked in commissions in the Army ; 
Mrs. Clarke shamelessly avowed that she had received money from 
aspirants, and falsely averred that the Duke had been influenced by 
her in giving commissions. She forged his handwriting with the 
intention of proving this ; she had already tried to blackmail him. 
He faced the inquiry in Parliament with perfect coolness and was 
acquitted by a considerable majority of any corrupt practices. But, 
to the great disadvantage of the Army, he had to resign his Command- 
in-Chief, and it was not till the spring of 1811 that the Prince Regent 
had the courage to restore him ; thereafter he continued to exercise 
the command till his death in 1827. On his mother's death in 1818 he 
was appointed guardian of the King's person, and he was already 
heir-presumptive to the throne. It says much for his conciliatory 
temper that he never quarrelled with his elder brother, of whose 
character, however, he had the worst opinion. York was a strong 
anti-Catholic, and, as a man of his word, likely to have made a stubborn 
fight against Catholic emancipation if he had become King. 

Greville, who disliked kings and princes as a class, says that York 
was ' the only one of the princes who has the feelings of an English 
gentleman ', and speaks of his ' amiable disposition and excellent 
temper, his truthfulness, straightforwardness, and sincerity '. In 
1821 Greville became the manager of the Duke's racing-stable, in 
the same year as he became Clerk of the Council, and lived in close 
intimacy with him till the Duke's death six years later. 



was the fourth son of George III. Being kept ridiculously short of 
pocket-money during a youthful residence in Germany, he contracted 
many heavy debts, of which he never afterwards got quit. He 
entered the Army at an early age, commanded the 7th Regiment, 
the Royal Fusiliers, at Gibraltar in 1790, and went to Canada in 1791. 
He fought with honour in the West Indian campaigns of 1794-6, 
became in 1802 Governor of Gibraltar, where he restored discipline, 
in a drunken and half-mutinous garrison, with severity and success ; 
he seems never to have been fairly treated for his actions there, though 
he demanded an inquiry into them, and was not employed again. 
He called himself a Whig, and was indeed a man of rather advanced 
Liberal views, especially in his later life. He supported ardently 
causes like the emancipation of the Catholics, the crusade against 
slavery, the education of the people. In 1815 he was obliged by his 
debts to assign his property to his creditors and retire to the Continent. 
After the Princess Charlotte's death he, being brought very near to 
the line of succession to the Crown, married (1818) Victoria Mary 
Louisa, widowed Princess of Leiningen-Dachsburg-Hardenburg, and 
died at Sidmouth early in 1820. He was a kindly, pious, straight- 
forward, but improvident man. His career as a Prince suffered from 
his early extravagance ; his career as a soldier partly from his being 
by nature a martinet and exceedingly pedantic about details, partly 
from unmerited ill-luck. His real title to be remembered, and it is 
a very great one, is that he became the father of Victoria. The great 
Queen, who paid immediately after her accession the debts of a father 
she had never known, was tenderly attached to his memory, and loved 
to recall the fact that she was ' a soldier's daughter '. 



daughter of the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and of George Ill's 
sister Augusta, was thus cousin to George Prince of Wales, afterwards 
George IV, to whom she was married in 1795. She was a hoyden 
in her childhood and never ceased to be a hoyden. Her dress was 
always untidy, her person usually unclean, her manners, whether in 
affection or reprobation, were repulsive. The Prince of Wales did not 
wish to marry at all he was already married to Mrs. Fitzherbert 
and certainly did not wish to marry this hoyden. Externally at 
least he was a gentleman, and he had perhaps some of the lesser 
instincts of a gentleman as well ; Caroline was not a lady, and had 
not been brought up as a lady. It was extremely bad taste upon 
George's part to send his favourite sultana, Lady Jersey, to wait 
upon his bride ; and at the first sight of Caroline the Prince declared 
himself unwell and called for brandy. The pair quarrelled imme- 
diately after the marriage, and separated on the birth of their only 
child, Princess Charlotte, in 1796. The old King, until he entirely 
lost his reason, remained kind to his daughter-in-law and was devoted 
to his grandchild. The Princess of Wales lived in retirement and 
gathered about herself several rather strange characters, with the 
result that scandals began to be whispered. A commission of inquiry 
was held in 1806, which acquitted her of all but indiscretion of manners 
and behaviour. Until 1812 she was allowed occasionally to see her 
daughter, who on one occasion (in 1814) actually ran away to visit 
her mother. Caroline then quitted England, ostensibly for her 
health's sake, and travelled to Italy ; her English suite gradually 
forsook her, and she made a friendship with her courier Bergami, 
whom and whose family she kept constantly about her, in circum- 
stances which not unnaturally gave rise to grave suspicion. 

On George TV's accession her name was omitted from the new 



From the portrait by Sir William Beecliey. R.A.. 
in the National Portrait Gallery 



From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P. R.A., 
in the National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait in the National Portrait Gallery. 
Painter unknown 

Face p. 92 


Prayer-Book ; her husband, however, offered her a pension of 50,000 
a year on condition that she remained abroad and dropped her title 
of Queen. It is to her personal credit, and is perhaps some proof 
of her innocence, that she refused this bribe. She came to London, 
and at once became a political personage, a stick with which to beat 
the Tory Government and the very unpopular King. Her great 
friend was the vain and noisy Alderman Wood of London, with whom 
she lodged. A commission had been sent abroad some years before 
to gather evidence of her supposed misconduct, and she had been 
pretty constantly kept under espionage. A Bill was therefore intro- 
duced into Parliament to dissolve her marriage, the debate on the 
second reading of which virtually came to be a trial of the Queen 
before the House of Lords. In spite of evidence tendered at this 
trial, which seemed conclusively to prove her guilt, the Bill was 
dropped after the second reading had been carried. The reason for 
this procedure has never been made plain. Her friends, or rather 
the enemies of the Government (for she had no real friends), showered 
congratulations and loyal addresses upon her ; an allowance of 50,000 
a year was voted to her by Parliament, and she made a state entry 
to the City, being received there as Queen. In July 1821 she tried 
to get admission to the Abbey at King George's coronation, but was 
refused : she was taken ill at the beginning of August, and died 
within a week. 

' Whatever Queen Caroline did had no weight with the people, 
for they said it was all his [George IV's] fault at first. His conduct 
to her was quite madness ; for, if he had only separated from her 
and let her alone, that wouldn't have signified ; but he persecuted her, 
and he cared as much about what she did as if he had been very 
much in love with her.' So said Lord Melbourne to Queen Victoria 
in 1838. As to the popular feeling for her, he added, ' he had never 
seen anything like it in his life '. Greville gives the best account of 
her arrival in London in 1820 (he rode to Greenwich to see the show), 
and of the windows that were broken in her honour by the mob ; 


even some of the guards cried out ' God save Queen Caroline '. Of 
the trial he says, ' all unprejudiced men seem to think the adultery 
sufficiently proved ' ; yet he thinks it cannot be for the interest of 
the Government that the Bill should pass ; and this remains the 
standing puzzle of the case. The only possible answer, and yet it is 
not a reasonable one, is that the King would be more unpopular if the 
divorce were completed than he was already. 



daughter of a Prince of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Meiningen and 
a Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, was married in 1817 to William 
Henry, Duke of Clarence, who became, on the death of the Princess 
Charlotte, heir-presumptive, and, on the death of the Duke of York, 
heir-apparent, to the throne of Great Britain. She bore the Duke two 
daughters, who died in infancy. During the reign of George IV she 
and the Duke lived at Bushey. She was crowned with William IV 
in 1831, and nursed him faithfully in his last illness. She had an 
enormous jointure as Queen Dowager, but she spent almost half of 
it in public and private charity. She was as genuinely attached to 
her aged, eccentric, unwise, but perhaps rather lovable husband, as 
he was to her, and there are many kindly references to her gentleness 
and charity in that wonderful early journal of Queen Victoria, which 
took the world by storm in 1912. Her health appears to have been 
permanently broken by her assiduous nursing of William IV, and she 
spent much of her remaining twelve years abroad in seeking to 
restore it. 



novelist, youngest daughter of a clergyman in Hampshire, by her 
mother's side a Warwickshire Leigh, and sister of two hard-fighting 
sailors (afterwards Admirals) of Nelson's wars, spent her girlhood and 
youth in the quiet of a country parsonage without displaying any 
marked talents. But before the removal of her family to Bath in 
1801 she had written Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and 
Northanger Abbey. Her father was in her secret, and offered the 
first of these stories to a publisher, who rejected it unread. The 
third of them she sold for 10 at Bath in 1803, but the publisher 
failed to produce the book, and many years afterwards was compelled 
to accept a refund of the price. For Sense and Sensibility (rewritten) 
she received 150 in 1811. Pride and Prejudice came out in 1813, 
Mansfield Park in 1814, Emma at the end of 1815, Northanger Abbey 
and Persuasion after her death. The last of these was suggested by 
a visit paid to Lyme Regis in 1804, and may perhaps contain traces 
of her own ' affair of the heart '. Another brief tale, set forth in an 
Epistolary Correspondence and entitled Lady Susan, was almost cer- 
tainly an early work, but is without date ; it was published, together 
with two fragments, The Watsons (composed at Bath in 1803-4) an< i 
Sanditon, which had just been begun at her death, by her nephew, 
J. E. Austen Leigh, in the first collected edition of her works. 

Jane's father died in 1805, and the family moved first to South- 
ampton and then to Chawton near Alton, Hants. In 1816 her health 
gave way, and she died at Winchester in the next year. ' Aunt Jane 
was the delight of all her nephews and nieces. We did not think of 
her as being clever, still less as being famous ; but we valued her as 
one always kind, sympathizing and amusing.' Her favourite brother 
was Charles, afterwards one of the Admirals, and it is illustrative 


of her wise self-limitations that, while some of her best touches 
of character are drawn from the sea-service, she ' never meddled with 
law, politics or medicine '. Nor did she ever make excursions into 
social spheres far above her or far beneath her ; her best characters 
were drawn from her own neighbours, and from those in her own rank 
of life ; and in these she found that ample variety which has filled 
her stage with figures destined to an evergreen immortality. Jane 
was a remarkably graceful woman with a rich brunette complexion, 
an excellent needlewoman, a good French and a fair Italian scholar, 
well read in the history of her own country, and a devourer of novels 
and poetry ; only three of the Waverley novels came out before her 
death, but she at once averred that Scott was their author ; and she, 
who adored his poetry, declared that it was ' not fair ' that he should 
write novels as well. Scott in return could find, when he came to 
read her own, no words of praise too high for their merits. Among 
the few who in her lifetime saw her real greatness and it is infinitely 
to his credit was the Prince Regent. During the past half-century 
her fame has been steadily rising, and it is worth noting that those 
whose applause she has most securely won have been men of the 
finest discernment. Surely no more perfect piece of literary criticism 
was ever penned than the study of her by Mr. F. W. Cornish in the 
Series of English Men of Letters, published in the autumn of 1913. 
And Mr. Andrew Lang unforgettably says, ' her art has the exquisite 
balance and limit of Greek art in the best period. She knew what 
she could do and she did it to perfection '. 

The present writer was once privileged to dine in the company 
of three very excellent judges of English literature, all now deceased ; 
after dinner we amused ourselves by making a ' class list ' of the 
writers of English fiction. The voting was by ballot, and it obviously 
needed the votes of three of these ' examiners ' to carry any one into 
the ' first class '. Only three candidates attained that honour, and the 
only one to whom all four votes were given was Jane Austen. 


From the portrait by John Zoffanv, R.A., belonging to Admiral Sir Ernest Rice, K.C.B., at 
Sibertswold Place, Dover, Kent 

Face p. 96 



often called ' the beautiful Duchess ', and celebrated on account of 
her portraits, was the daughter of the first Earl Spencer, and was 
married four days before she was seventeen to the fifth Duke of Devon- 
shire. Whig politics were traditional in both families, and Georgiana 
became the reigning toast of the Whigs, to such an extent indeed 
that stories, most unlikely to be true, were at one time current that 
the Prince of Wales was upon too good terms with her. She was an 
intimate friend of Fox, for whom at the famous Westminster election 
she canvassed with such vigour that she is supposed to have kissed 
a blacksmith in return for the promise of his vote. She was also an 
' intellectual ' and wrote pretty verses. 


(died 1815) 

was born of humble parentage in Cheshire, and probably first came 
to London as a servant-maid. She was successively the mistress of 
several men before Charles Greville, with whom she lived from 1782 
to 1786. He educated her, and she displayed great quickness in 
learning. It was then that she sat frequently to Romney, who had 
the greatest admiration for her beauty and painted her in numerous 
attitudes. Greville passed her on in 1786 to his uncle Sir William 
Hamilton, Ambassador at Naples, with whom she lived as mistress 
till 1791, as wife from that date. She created quite a furore by her 
beauty and her singing at the Neapolitan Court, and was on familiar 

H. P. IV JJ 


terms with the Queen of Naples, at the date of the battle of the Nile. 
She then flung herself at the head of Lord Nelson and completely 
subjugated him. It is the one discreditable incident in his career ; 
she lived with Nelson and with Sir William Hamilton (who always 
believed her innocent) in a strange menage a trois until Sir William's 
death in 1803 ; after that she continued to live with Nelson, whose 
separation from his wife had been the direct result of his conduct. 
Most of Nelson's family, whether ignorantly or not, kept up the 
fiction that the relations of the pair were platonic. A daughter was 
born and christened Horatia in 1801, and Nelson privately acknow- 
ledged her as his child. The infatuation of the great sailor for this 
worthless female is rendered more remarkable from her intense vul- 
garity, theatricalism, and pretensions. Lady Hamilton claimed to 
have rendered, during her residence at Naples, great political services 
to the Government ; for this claim there was no justification. After 
Nelson's death she rapidly ran through the considerable income he 
left to her, was arrested for debt in 1813, released in the following 
year, and went to live at Calais, where she died, in comparative poverty 
though by no means in want. 


From the portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. 
belonging to the Earl Spencer, KG. 

From a lithograph by R. J. Hamerton 


from the portrait by George Romney in the National 


From the portrait by Gauffier belonging to the Earl of 
Ilchester at Holland House 

Face p. < 



daughter of the third Earl Stanhope, and niece of the younger Pitt, 
was very largely brought up by her grandmother, Lady Chatham, 
at Burton Pynsent, where she became, as Eothen tells us, the friend 
of Kinglake's mother. Her father, a man of real genius and of the 
most varied scientific attainments, but of quite unfixed, if not un- 
balanced, mind, and a most violent Radical politician, had been 
frankly cruel to her and to his other children, all of whom he disin- 
herited. Hester, the ablest of these children, a woman of wit and 
high spirit, kept house for her beloved uncle, William Pitt, from 1803 
till his death. She was in love with John Moore, and perhaps buried 
her heart in his grave at Corunna. She departed to the Near East in 
1810, and, after some travel in the Holy Land, settled among the 
Druses of Mount Lebanon in 1814. Here her perhaps inherited 
eccentricity had free play and she developed into a strange being, 
half prophetess half tyrant, entirely abandoning European habits and 
even European views of life. Not madness, thought Kinglake, but 
a ' fierce and inordinate pride most perilously akin to madness ', 
lay at the bottom of her unholy claim to supremacy in the spiritual 
kingdom. Often in danger from the disturbed state of the country, 
she yet exercised great fascination over the Bedouin Arabs, at first 
largely owing to her immensely long sight. She was in perpetual 
quarrel with the British Consuls in Palestine and Syria. She insisted 
in maintaining a kind of squalid state in spite of an increasing load 
of debt, and wrote abusive letters to the British Government on the 
subject of her grievances. In fact it seems quite probable that she 
lived towards the end of her days by forced contributions from, or by 
actual plunder of, the villages around her. She was plundered by her 
servants on her death-bed, but had never abated her pretensions to be 
treated as a kind of self-constituted sovereign and prophetess. 

H 2 


Even as the niece of Pitt, she might now be forgotten but for 
the wonderful chapter in Eothen in which Kinglake has described his 
visit to her in 1835 ; he brings before the reader her convent, ' looking 
like a neglected fortress ', her fierce Arnaut attendants, her resem- 
blance to her grandfather Chatham, her amazing attire, and the 
swift bound of her conversation from inquiries about ' poor dear 
Somersetshire ' into loftier spheres of thought. She entertained him, 
in fact, not only with her own life-story, but with many long and 
fiery discourses about occult science, finally advising him to abandon 
Europe (' which was on the eye of a great cataclysm ') and ' seek his 
reward in the East '. 



daughter and heiress of a Jamaica planter, was the divorced wife of 
Sir Godfrey Webster ; she married her paramour the third Lord 
Holland, nephew of Charles James Fox, and was for half a century 
the acknowledged queen of Whig society in England. Greville's 
character of her has often been quoted, and is an admirable piece of 
discriminating appreciation. He classes her as a woman for whom 
nobody felt affection but whose death would be profoundly regretted : 
' the world has never seen, and will never see again, anything like 
Holland House. She contrived to assemble round her to the last 
a great Society, comprising almost everybody that was conspicuous, 
remarkable, and agreeable.' Lady Holland was compact of contra- 
dictions, often obliging, good-natured and considerate to the very 
same people to whom at another time she was capricious, tyrannical, 
troublesome. She could never bear to be alone. She had no love 


for her children, and left her property away from them. More stories 
have been told of her retorts, her inconceivable rudeness to her guests, 
and her real wit, than of any other Englishwoman who ever held 
a salon. Sydney Smith, Macaulay, and Melbourne were among the 
few that could stand up to her. 

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about her was the way in 
which her really clever husband acquiesced in his wife's supremacy. 
It may well be doubted whether her political opinions were really 
more serious than her religious views, but Lord Holland was a con- 
sistent and extreme Whig, who deliberately set himself, with his wife's 
aid, to build up the great ' Whig Legend ' concerning the virtues, 
political and private, of his uncle Fox. They did infinite harm to the 
patriotic spirit of the nation by their espousal, not merely of the 
traditions of the French Revolution (in which, if it had been imitated 
in England, such people as the Hollands would have deservedly 
found themselves victims), but also of the cause of Napoleon, whom 
they persisted in regarding as a ' friend of Liberty ' ; Fox himself, 
had he lived two more years, would have been the first to repudi- 
ate this belief. The Hollands sent secret messages to Napoleon at 
St. Helena, and never ceased to calumniate the British Government 
for his detention. Lord Holland died five years before his wife. 



first Governor-General of India, was, like Lord Clive, sprung from 
an old impoverished family of landowners, whose home had been at 
Daylesford in Worcestershire. But, unlike Clive, he had a first-rate 
classical education, being head scholar of his year at Westminster ; 
this training no doubt helped him in after years to master the Urdu 
and Bengali languages. He resembled Clive also in his great natural 
sweetness of temper, his dauntless resolution, and in the power of 
swift decision to bear responsibility. But he too had to earn his 
living, and he entered the civil service of the East India Company in 
Bengal in 1750. In the crisis of 1756 he was up country on a mission, 
and was imprisoned by Suraja Dowla at Moorshedabad ; and it was 
Clive who picked him out as a fitting person to become Resident at 
the Court of his protege Meer Jaffier. He became a member of the 
Calcutta Council in 1761, in Vansittart's governorship, and sailed for 
England on his first leave in 1764, still a very poor man, which in 
those days meant that he must have been an unusually honourable 
civil servant. He spent five very pleasant and fruitful years in 
England, and was naturally much interested in the active discussions 
at the India House and in society at large concerning the future 
administration of our new possessions. In 1769 he was sent out to 
Madras with a seat on the Council of that Presidency, and two years 
later was promoted to the Governorship of Bengal, just after the great 
famine of 1770, which not only diminished the population of the pro- 
vince but even threatened bankruptcy to the Company. 

Hastings's first great service, and it is one whose difficulties and 
value it is impossible to overrate, was to create an efficient, economical, 
and non-oppressive system for collecting the land revenue, which was 
at once the mark of the Company's sovereignty and the main source 

From the portrait by Tilly Kettle in the National Portrait Gallery 

Faccf. 102 


of its financial stability ; for this he began the practice of employing 
native agents under English supervisors. He went on to establish 
an efficient and impartial hierarchy for the administration of justice 
both to natives and Europeans, which became the groundwork of the 
modern system, while somewhat later he set to work to get the sub- 
stance of Hindoo law codified and to apply it to all Hindoo subjects 
of the Company, just as he applied Aurungzebe's code of Moham- 
medan law to Moslem subjects. To his early years we owe the germ, 
and to his whole period of rule the improvement, of measures of police 
against ' dacoity ' i.e. robbery and murder by gangs of religious 
fanatics. In this police work also Hastings employed native agents 
under English officers ; he fined the villages in which such crimes 
were committed. He abolished the pension which Give had paid to 
the Mogul, and cut down that paid to the Nabob by one half. 

Meanwhile Lord North's ' Regulating Act ' had made him ' Gover- 
nor-General of India ', with a control over the other two Presidencies ; 
but gave him only one vote in the newly-created Council (consisting 
of four persons in addition to himself), with a casting vote only in 
the cases of equal division of votes. The same Act created a Supreme 
Court of four judges to administer English law to British subjects in 
India. Three of the new Councillors had been nominated at home, 
and in deference to parliamentary opinion ; and one of these was 
Philip Francis, who probably had at first no other ambition than to 
supplant Hastings in his highly-paid office ; of the other Councillors, 
Clavering and Monson were merely Francis's tools ; Barwell, the 
only one favourable to Hastings, was thus constantly outvoted with 
his chief. Hastings received very little support from the Directors 
at home, and Lord North's outwardly friendly Government would 
have thrown him over in any political emergency. So, in the teeth 
of a six-year-long campaign of calumny which Francis now started 
against him, Hastings had to go on laying the basis it was nothing 
less of our modern system of Indian administration in the depart- 
ments of finance, judicature, and administration, and also inaugurating 


the practice of subsidizing and helping such native Princes as would 
enter perpetual alliances with the Company. Monson died in 1776 
and Clavering in 1777, and their successors were not so uniformly 
hostile as these had been, but Francis until his own retirement at the 
end of 1780 never ceased his persecutions. Once he goaded Hastings 
into writing home a resignation and into appealing to the Supreme 
Court to support him when he withdrew it ; once into challenging 
him to a duel, in which Hastings wounded Francis severely. When- 
ever sickness or accidental absence on the part of one of the hostile 
councillors put Hastings and Barwell even with the enemy for a time, 
the Governor-General would use his casting vote in his own favour, 
and then the business of State would go on unchecked ; but for long 
periods their hands were completely tied by obstruction. Francis 
did not scruple to accuse Hastings of procuring judicial murder in the 
case of Nuncomar, of the ' massacre of a free people ' in the case of 
the Rohillas, of applying torture to the Begums of Oude, and of 
extorting vast sums of money from a rich Raja called Cheyte Sing. 
On these charges, not all openly presented at the Council table, but all 
transmitted, and painted in the darkest colours, to Francis's political 
friends in England, the impeachment of the Governor-General was 
afterwards built up. His memory has now been completely cleared 
of the reputation of corruption and cruelty which the eloquence of 
Sheridan and Burke and the indefensible Essay of Lord Macaulay 
had left upon it. 

Hastings was opposed to what has been called the ' forward ' 
policy in India, and he annexed almost nothing to the already vast 
territories of the Company. He was especially anxious not to provoke 
the power that he most dreaded, the Mahratta Confederacy, which 
threatened both Bombay and Madras far more immediately than 
Bengal. Oude he regarded as a ' buffer State ' against the Mahrattas, 
and it was the danger of Oude that led him to send Colonel Champion 
to deliver a corner of it from Rohilla oppression on which the Mahrattas 
looked favourably ; again, it was the misrule of a new Nabob of Oude 


that brought him into conflict with the Begums and Cheyte Sing. 
In the Western Province Hastings would fain have averted the quarrel 
with the Mahrattas in which the Presidency of Bombay involved 
itself in 1775, and he sent help only when he learned that French 
agents were working for the enemy. It was on that occasion that he 
sent troops right across India with complete success, and terminated 
our ' First Mahratta War ' by the Treaty of 1782. In the south he 
had to deal with the rise (also fostered by the French) of the great 
Sultanate of Mysoor under Hyder Ali ; thither he sent troops both 
by sea and land. When it became evident that a great combination 
of French, Dutch, Mahrattas, and Mysoor was really on foot against 
us, and when the Sultan of Mysoor had begun his campaign, Hastings 
on his own authority removed the incompetent Governor of Madras 
and dispatched the veteran Coote, who beat Hyder Ali at Porto Novo ; 
the Dutch possessions in the far south gradually fell into our hands, 
and, when Hyder Ali died in 1782, a treaty in the next year with his 
son Tippoo at least saved the Carnatic, and gave the Presidency of 
Madras a much-needed breathing space on land while Suffren and 
Hughes were still disputing the command of the sea. 

These treaties of 1782 and 1783 were the last great political work 
of Hastings ; but he never ceased, until he quitted India early in 
1785, his intelligent attention to every detail of the administration of 
Bengal, of which he wrote during his voyage home a careful ' Review '. 
He brought home only 80,000, a mere nothing to have saved after 
a life spent in high office in India ; of his princely salary as Governor 
he had expended almost the whole on the administration of the 
Provinces in his charge, and in the foundation and endowment of 
institutions and schools. 

But Francis, as Hastings well knew, was watching for his prey 
with a patience and a persistency as great as his enemy's own. For 
ten years by letters and four years by fiery talk, he had been inflaming 
the generous but gullible mind of Burke, always too prone to listen 
to tales of ' oppression of alien races ', especially if such ' oppression ' 


had been committed by one of different party politics from himself. 
Burke too had his own injury to revenge, the lost India Bill of Fox, 
and the defeat of the Coalition Government of which he had been 
the champion. Pitt too readily acquiesced, and Dundas (who, if any 
one in England, knew the whole truth) urged him to acquiesce, as 
a mere party move, in the impeachment of one of the greatest servants 
any British Government ever had, one of the greatest benefactors 
the native races of India ever had. The mere preliminary debates, 
whether or no there should be an impeachment, lasted for two years, 
and conclusively proved that the House of Commons was the unfittest 
possible body to do justice to India. The Most High Court of Parlia- 
ment, i.e. the House of Lords, proved more fit. During one hundred 
and forty-five days of the seven years from 1788 to 1795 the trial 
dragged on ; and when Hastings was at last triumphantly acquitted 
of all the charges brought against him, he had all but spent the last 
penny of his modest fortune. The generosity of the Directors was, 
however, extended to him, and he was able to repurchase his old 
paternal estate of Daylesford, and to live there till his eighty-sixth 
year in comfort, though not in affluence. Without importunity, but 
with quiet steadiness, Hastings continued to demand that the House 
of Commons should follow the decision of the Lords and reverse or 
expunge from their journals the votes of 1787, which he felt to have 
stained his name ; and when this was refused he for his part refused 
the peerage which was offered to him as a sop. The only honours he 
accepted were a degree from the University of Oxford and a seat on 
the Privy Council. 



was born in the most beautiful place in England, Salisbury Close. 
His father, a member of an old Wiltshire family, and a considerable 
philosopher, whom Johnson once described as ' a sound, sullen scholar, 
but a prig ' (meaning a precisian) ' and a bad prig ', sat in the House 
of Commons, and held minor office at the beginning of George Ill's 
reign. James, who distinguished himself as a boy by climbing the 
spire of Salisbury Cathedral, was educated at Winchester, Merton 
College Oxford, and Leyden, and was early introduced to the best 
society in London. He was a voracious reader of classics and history, 
and became a specialist in Dutch Law and in European Treaties. 
He travelled extensively in Northern Europe, and was appointed 
Secretary to our Embassy at Madrid in 1767. When he was but 
twenty-four, being then in charge of the Embassy, he compelled the 
Spaniards to yield their pretensions to the Falkland Islands, and 
thus saved England from a war with Spain (1770). He went succes- 
sively Ambassador to Berlin (1772-6) and St. Petersburg (1777-782). 
In 1784 he was sent to the Hague, and there saved the Stadtholderate 
from French aggression by concluding the Triple Alliance of England, 
Holland, and Prussia. He had hitherto been a Foxite Whig in politics, 
but recanted in 1793, and was employed at the end of that year to try 
and keep Frederick William II of Prussia firm to the alliance against 
the French Republic. It was Harris to whom was entrusted in 1794 
the unlucky mission of arranging the marriage and bringing over the 
Princess of Wales, Caroline of Brunswick ; the description which he 
gives of her in his Diary is appalling. Twice he went on futile missions 
for Pitt to the new masters of France, to Paris in 1796, to Lisle in 1797, 
and the same Diary becomes invaluable evidence on the condition of 


the northern French roads and cities at a date when the first ravages 
of democracy had spent themselves ; even if the Directory wished 
for a peace it was clear that it dared not conclude one. Harris had 
received a peerage in 1788, and was advanced to an Earldom in 1800. 
About that date he became deaf, a serious misfortune for a diplomatist, 
but he was much consulted by successive Governments on foreign 
policy down to his death. Holland was the country, after his own, 
to which he was most attached, and he had the pleasure of offering 
in his old age much hospitality to the exiled Prince and Princess of 
Orange. But in 1800 he wrote that, though thirty-five years of his 
life had been spent on the Continent, his long exile only afforded him 
reflection on the ' moral, political, and local advantages enjoyed by 
England over every country in Europe '. His Diary, published by 
his grandson in 1844, is full of political wisdom, full of humour, full 
of patriotism. 



Governor-General of India, eldest son of John Rawdon, afterwards 
first Earl of Moira, was educated at Harrow and University College, 
Oxford. He entered the Army while still a member of the latter 
Society, and saw active service almost throughout the American War, 
from Bunker Hill in 1775 to Hobkirk's Hill, where he defeated that 
excellent soldier Greene in April 1781. He came home with a well- 
earned reputation as a strategist, hard fighter, and stern disciplinarian ; 
for his zeal in the last capacity he was the butt of a Whig attack in 
Parliament. He received a peerage in 1783, and remained a supporter 
of Pitt until his somewhat unfortunate friendship with the Prince of 



a G 


O* J5 

r - 
























: ' 














M - 



c v 


< I 

Face f>. 108 


Wales drew him over to the Opposition ; it is only fair to say that 
this friendship began before the rise of the Regency question, in 
which Lord Rawdon took the Whig side. He was, however, neither 
an ardent nor a very active politician. In 1794, having succeeded 
to his father's Earldom in the previous year, he performed a great 
military feat in taking a large reinforcement safely through Belgium, 
to join the Duke of York, in the face of a victorious French Army, 
which he skilfully eluded. In Irish affairs he was strongly pro- 
Catholic, and thwarted the Government's repressive measures, both 
before and at the date of the Union ; he opposed the Union itself 
until he saw it an accomplished fact. He served the ' Talents ' 
Ministry as Master of the Ordnance and sat in the Cabinet. Again 
in 1811-12 he reverted to his position of 1788-9, and voted for the 
unrestricted Regency of the Prince of Wales. Both before and after 
the assassination of Perceval he expected to be called into the Ministry ; 
he was, in fact, the Regent's principal negotiator with Wellesley, Grey, 
and Grenville in the abortive schemes for reconstruction. In 1813 
he found the true sphere of his fame when he succeeded Minto as 
Governor-General of India. 

In this capacity he proved himself not only a soldier-statesman 
of the first class, but also an administrator of unusual ability. Since 
the retirement of Wellesley in 1805 peace at any price had been the 
policy of the Directors of the Company, with the natural result that 
every freebooter in the north and centre of the peninsula amused 
himself by raiding at his pleasure. Hastings himself had been, as 
a ' good Whig ', in favour of non-intervention ; but he was too good 
a statesman to pursue this policy when he had once been brought 
face to face with its consequences. He had first to deal with the 
gallant little Ghoorkas of the hill country of Nepaul, and it cost him 
two campaigns to bring them to submission, 1814-15 ; the peace of 
February, 1816, brought the British frontier for the first time to march 
with that of the Chinese Empire, and the Ghoorkas remained ever 
afterwards our best allies in India. Next came the turn of the 


Pindarrees, vast hordes of brigands who, under the protection of the 
leading Mahratta chieftains, spread terror and murder all over the 
central plain. The Mahrattas always looked upon these people as 
potential allies, and the skill with which Hastings, by the disposition 
of his troops and by a politic treaty with Gwalior, induced them to 
remain quiet until he had exterminated the Pindarrees, has never 
been properly acknowledged in history. The remaining Mahratta 
houses Poonah, Nagpoor, Indore, all rose against him, but rose when 
it was too late ; battle after battle compelled them to sue for peace, 
and the surrender of the Peishwa of Poonah finished the last inde- 
pendent Mahratta State, 1818. By 1820 peace was completely estab- 
lished in Central India, and the British Government was at last the 
one supreme sovereign power south of Sind and the Sutlej. Lord 
Moira received the Marquisate of Hastings as a reward for his services, 
and spent the short remainder of his government in organizing the 
new provinces. One of his most useful acquisitions was the State of 
Singapore on the Malacca Straits (1819) ; this added very much to 
the security of our trade with China. He took a great interest in 
promoting the welfare of the natives, spending large sums from his 
own pocket in establishing schools, and giving great encouragement 
to Christian missions. His resignation in 1821 was sent in under 
strange circumstances ; lie had made the mistake of allowing a private 
bank, in which he himself had some interest, to lend money to the 
native State of Hyderabad ; the Directors at once accused him of 
corruption, and, though he was completely cleared of this, his policy 
in allowing the loan was very rightly censured. As a matter of fact 
his Indian government was conducted on a scale of such magnificence 
as to leave him a very poor man, glad enough to accept, in his old age, 
the little government of Malta, where he spent the years 1824-6 ; 
he died at sea in the latter year. The nine years of his government 
in India must be ranked among the greatest formative periods of the 
British Raj. In his personal character, as well as his political career, 
he strongly recalls his great predecessor the Marquis Wellesley. Two 


stories of his princely generosity are perhaps worth recording ; the 
first, that when he lent his country house to some French refugees, 
ruined by the Revolution, he left in his guests' rooms cheque-books 
full of signed blank cheques, which each guest could fill up at pleasure ; 
the second that, when he paid a visit to his old school, Harrow, he 
' tipped ' every boy-in the school. 



Governor-General of India, was the son of Sir Gilbert, third baronet, 
of Minto, a famous scholar, orator and wit, who was the leader of 
Edinburgh society in the early days of George III. The younger 
Gilbert was educated in France (with David Hume for his tutor), 
and was the schoolfellow and friend of Mirabeavi, who corresponded 
and stayed with him in after-life. He was for a short time at Christ 
Church, was called to the English Bar in 1774, and entered Parliament 
in 1776. He became an ardent Whig, and was misled by his friendship 
with Burke into the persecution of Hastings, of whose impeachers he 
was one. When the Great War began he veered round to Pitt's side, 
and was employed as negotiator at Toulon after its surrender to Hood 
in 1793. As British Governor for King George of Corsica (an island 
which did not like being governed by any one), 1794-5, he held a ridi- 
culous ' Parliament ' on that island, and had to expel Paoli. He got his 
peerage in 1798, and was Ambassador at Vienna in 1800. The ' Minis- 
try of All the Talents ' made him Governor-General of India in 1806 
and he exercised the office for six years. His tenure of it is mainly 
famous from the fact that he realized, in accordance, it is true, witli 
an idea previously suggested by Henry Dundas, that there might be 


trouble from the North-West, and he accordingly opened serious 
negotiations with Scinde, with the Punjaub, with Persia, and with 
Afghanistan. He annexed the Moluccas, the French Masearenes (now 
called Reunion or Bourbon, and Mauritius), and the great Dutch 
colony of Java. He was the first to touch, but merely tentatively, 
the Kingdom of Oude. He was deeply interested in Oriental faiths 
and customs, zealous for the welfare both of Hindoos and Moham- 
medans, and, in the opinion of the English Evangelicals, the reverse 
of anxious for the success of Christian missions. He received an 
Earldom on his return to England in 1813, and died very soon after- 



Lord Chief Justice, was the son of a clergyman, afterwards Bishop of 
Carlisle, and was educated at the Charterhouse and at Peterhouse, 
Cambridge, where he had a distinguished career. He was called to 
the Bar in 1780 and took silk seven years later. Though a Whig by 
upbringing, he defended Warren Hastings with conspicuous ability, 
and became a Tory in 1793. He prosecuted for the Government 
many seditious Radicals, became Attorney-General in 1801, and sat 
in Parliament for a small borough in the Isle of Wight. He became 
Lord Chief Justice and a peer in 1802. He was in the Coalition 
Ministry of 1806-7, but without an office, having refused the Chan- 
cellorship. He continued to be a vigorous supporter of most Govern- 
ment measures both before and after the Peace of 1815, and fiercely 
opposed the mitigation of the existing criminal code. He was unques- 
tionably a great lawyer and his judgements were weighty and weightily 


From the portrait by James Atkinson in the 
National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Mather Brown in the 

National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Samuel Drummond, A.R.A. 
in the National Portrait Gallery 


From the whole- length portrait by John Eckstein 

in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. ii2 


delivered, but he was a man of violent opinions and still more violent 
language, and it would be idle to maintain that his prejudices did not 
sometimes warp his judgement. He was the father of the first Earl 
of Ellenborough, the famous Governor-General of India, 1841-4. 



Admiral, was the son of a British Consul in Morocco, of the Littlecote 
family, which counted a great sailor of the Commonwealth among its 
members. He was educated at Westminster, and joined the Navy 
in his sixteenth year, seeing some service under Rodney at the end 
of the American War. Thereafter he had an adventurous and irre- 
gular career ; without quitting the Navy he was in the service of the 
East India Company, 1790-93 ; and yet, while in this service, seems 
to have traded on his own account in violation of that Company's 
rules. This involved him in costly litigation, and perhaps in some 
discredit. In 1794 he was in charge of gun-boats and pontoons in the 
Low Countries with the Duke of York, who thought highly of him, 
and obtained for him a post-captain's rank in the Navy. In the 
expedition to North Holland (1799) and in the Red Sea (1800) Popham 
again rendered excellent service, in particular by his great skill in 
scientific navigation, in the surveying of coasts and the sounding of 
channels ; but he had enemies at the Admiralty, and the alleged 
extravagance of his expenditure was brought up against him (1804-5). 
In the end a Committee of the House of Commons conclusively proved 
his innocence of the charges brought against him. In 1806, in com- 
mand of a small squadron, he took the Dutch colony at the Cape, 
and then, entirely without authority, transported his force across the 
South Atlantic and seized the Spanish colony of Buenos Ayres in 
South America. The troops which he landed were soon afterwards 

H.P. IV I 


surrounded by a Spanish rising and overpowered. On his return 
Popham was very properly court-martialled and severely reprimanded. 
But he was immediately employed again, in the North Sea (1807) and 
the Walcheren Expedition (1809) ; and here his great skill in intricate 
navigation made him very useful in piloting Strachan's fleet up the 
Scheldt. In 1812 he was off the north coast of Spain, aiding the 
insurgents in the Asturias, and blockading the small ports there which 
were held by the French ; Wellington found his little fleet to be of the 
greatest service. He got his flag in 1814, and was Governor of Jamaica 
in his last years. 

Popham's South American venture in 1806 was sheer disobedi- 
ence, and, from the point of view of any Government, unpardonable ; 
it was also a hideous mistake in strategy. But it was not necessarily 
dishonourable in itself, although it is quite possible that its originator 
may have had the idea (which was believed to be too often in his 
mind) of a vast hoard of loot to be obtained from a rich Spanish 
colony. Popham was in fact a ' man of projects ', and the Govern- 
ment, at all times sorely pressed in carrying out its own strategy, 
bad or good, rightly refused to listen to quasi-amateur projects. 
Some, however, of Popham's projects, including an excellent code of 
naval signals, were adopted by the Admiralty. Popham had the 
further merit of knowing more about soldiers and their needs than 
most of our sailors ; but he was always believed to have too keen an 
eye to prize-money and to trading on his own account, a habit which 
he had perhaps contracted in his early East-Indian service ; and it is 
this which makes Mr. Fortescue, perhaps too severely, brand him as 
a. ' brother charlatan to Sir Sidney Smith '. 



Admiral, commonly known as Sir Sidney Smith, was the son of Captain 
John Smith. He joined the Navy at the age of thirteen, and saw 
service under Rodney in the American War ; spent the years of peace, 
first in learning French during a long sojourn in Normandy, then in 
travels in Morocco and in Sweden, where in 1790 he served as a 
volunteer in the war against Russia. In 1792 he was found in the 
Levant ; and when the Great War began in the next year, he joined 
Lord Hood, without any appointment, in a small ship of his own, off 
Toulon. He got his first command in 1794, was taken prisoner by 
the French in an attempt on the shipping at Havre in 1796, and spent 
two years in a French prison. Exchange was refused to him, as his 
exploits on the coast and his adventurous character had led the 
enemy to regard him somewhat as sixteenth-century Spaniards 
regarded Drake. He escaped in 1798 by a wonderful adventure, was 
given an eighty-gun ship (the Tigre) on his return to England, and 
was sent to the Mediterranean. His insubordination and vanity led 
to sharp quarrels with St. Vincent and Nelson ; but he became the 
hero in 1799 of the defence of Acre for the Turks against Bonaparte, 
whose small boats with provisions and siege-guns he cut off with his 
Tigre. Smith then, without orders, concluded with the French 
a treaty for the evacuation of Egypt, which, of course, had to be 
repudiated. He reached flag rank in 1805, and rendered excellent 
service against the French on the Neapolitan coasts in 1806 ; no one 
knew where he would appear next, no port was safe from him. He 
was in Lisbon when the Portuguese royal family was reluctantly 
persuaded to embark for Brazil in 1807, and stimulated and protected 
their lucky departure. He was on the South American Station in 
1808-9, ar >d in the Mediterranean again in 1812. This was his last 
active service, but, always in quest of adventures, he turned up in 

I 2 


Belgium in June, 1815, and sawthe greater part of the battle of Waterloo 
as a spectator. He spent his later years in Paris. 

Smith was a truly extraordinary person, a ' tiger tigerrimus ', 
vain to the last degree, and always talking (principally about himself) 
in the strain of the heroes of Homer ; totally insubordinate and rash 
in assuming responsibility, yet so amazingly daring and fertile in 
resources, disguises, and stratagems, that, in spite of his quarrels 
with almost every one in authority over him (even with such men as 
Moore and Nelson, who valued daring and resource before everything 
else), he may fairly be reckoned one of the heroes of the Great War. 




statesman, better known as Viscount Castlereagh, was born in the 
annus mirabilis of Wellington and Napoleon, and on ' Waterloo day ' ; 
he was the son of Robert, afterwards first Marquis, and of Sarah 
Seymour-Conway. The family, originally from Scotland, had been 
settled, since James I's plantation of Ulster, at Ballylawn, County 
Donegal, and possessed also the estate of Mount Stewart in County 
Down. The father's (Irish) title only dated to 1789, the Marquisate 
to 1816. Robert's half-brother, afterwards General Charles William 
Stewart and third Marquis, was a distinguished cavalry soldier in the 
Peninsular War and a distinguished diplomatist. Robert was at 
school at Armagh, went to St. John's, Cambridge, travelled abroad 
(1788-9), sat in the Irish House of Commons (1790-1800) and in the 
British from 1794 till 1796, and again from 1801 till his death, always 
refusing, both for himself and his father (who died only sixteen months 

From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face f>. 1 1 6 


before himself), a peerage of the United Kingdom. Castlereagh 
married a daughter of Lord Buckinghamshire in 1794, and at the date 
of the Irish Rebellion acted as Chief Secretary to two successive 
Lords-Lieutenant of Ireland, Camden and Cornwallis. In this capacity 
he played the principal part in forcing through the Irish Parliament 
the Act of Union, but resigned in 1801 when he found that Catholic 
Emancipation, a cause to which he was warmly attached, was not to 
accompany that measure. Being totally devoid of the ordinary 
' party ' spirit he was as ready to support Addington's Government 
without office as Pitt's with office, and was constantly consulted by 
Addington on Irish affairs. In after years he never forgot his pro- 
Catholic sympathies, but realized, from 1807 at least, that there were 
bigger immediate tasks to be accomplished than emancipation. If he 
could have had his way in 1800 he would have established the Roman 
Catholic as the National Church of Ireland. In 1802 Castlereagh 
became President of the India Board with a seat in the Cabinet ; 
he had supported Wellesley even against the India House in all the 
early measures of Wellesley's great proconsulate, but was strongly 
against the Mahratta War, not so much upon principle as because of 
the inopportuneness of the time of its declaration. He retained his 
Indian office even after his appointment to the War Office in July, 
1805. On Pitt's death in January he resigned and opposed the 
' Ministry of All the Talents ' (1806-7) > it was the only Government 
that he ever actively opposed. 

He took the War Office again under Portland (1807-9) '> an d on 
both occasions he made some mistakes in his conduct of it, the sending 
of troops to North Germany in the autumn of 1805 and the Walcheren 
Expedition of 1809 being the most conspicuous ; although the idea 
of that last expedition was rightly conceived, the execution of it was 
faulty, and there is no need to exonerate Castlereagh from a great 
share of responsibility for it. But he atoned for these errors by his 
wide grasp of the map of the world and of the best strategy for Great 
Britain, and herein he showed himself immensely superior to his 


former master, Pitt. His own early mistakes had taught him that 
Pitt's whole system of strategy must be changed, and that the best 
defence for Britain would be a powerful offensive stroke at some one 
point of the enemy's line. He saved the Danish and Portuguese 
fleets from Napoleon's grasp (1807), and was the prime originator, 
the most active supporter, of the Peninsular War, both at its com- 
mencement and at its close. The selection of Arthur Wellesley, whom 
he had known in Ireland, and whose merits as a General in India he 
had been the first to appreciate, showed Castlereagh's fine judgement. 
An even greater service than this was his reorganization, almost 
re-creation, of the British Army into the Army of the Peninsula and 
of Waterloo ; the system of doubling the battalions of each regiment, 
feeding the second battalions from the Militia, and keeping the Militia 
at strength by the system of the ballot in each county, was wholly 
Castlereagh's work, and gave Great Britain, for the first time since 
Cromwell's days, a really powerful striking force. Wellington, who 
was a good grumbler at Ministers, wrote to him : ' If I had been 
your brother you could not have been more careful of my interests.' 
Canning's jealousy, intrigue, and concealment of intrigue led to 
Castlereagh's resignation in September 1809, and to the famous duel 
between them on Putney Heath, but Castlereagh never factiously 
opposed Perceval's Government and often warmly supported it ; he 
joined it as Minister of Foreign Affairs, for which office he was now 
supremely fitted, in February, 1812. From Perceval's death, in the 
May of that year, he led the House of Commons. 

From that one hour the war's whole fortune turns, 
Pallas assists, and lofty Ilion burns. 

From Castlereagh's assumption of power the steps leading to the 
final overthrow of Napoleon began ; more than the snows of Russia, 
more than the sword of Wellington, the brain of Castlereagh was the 
deciding force. Yet with what skill, with what moderation, with 
what infinite toil, the diplomatic campaign was waged ! The winning 
over of Alexander to believe in the cause, the peace between Turkey 


and Russia which freed the Czar's hands, the detachment of Sweden 
from France, the gigantic subsidies poured into the laps of the Allies, 
the rejection of the offers of Napoleon after Leipsic, the saving of 
France herself, both in 1814 and 1815, from the dangerous and tricky 
patronage of Russia, as much as from the honest if brutal desire of 
Prussia for vengeance, the thwarting of all attempts to dictate a form 
of government or impose a dynasty on the French, the creation of the 
barrier-kingdom of the United Netherlands, the Treaty of Chaumont 
in March 1814 in fact the whole keeping together of the pack of the 
Allies, every one of them with divergent, and every one with selfish 
aims, was Castlereagh's work and Castlereagh's alone. He went to 
the camp of the Allies in January, 1814, and remained abroad, as repre- 
sentative of Great Britain, until he signed the Peace of Paris in May 
in that city. He and his brother represented us again at the Congress 
of Vienna in September, and, though defeated on several details and 
obliged to compromise on several others (e.g. he was obliged to forgo 
the restoration of Poland, to surrender Genoa to Sardinia, and to 
leave Venetia to the Austrians), he averted the war which threatened 
to break out in January, 1815. This he effected by the alliance of 
England, France, and Austria against the Northern Powers, and the 
last word in the rearrangement of the map of Europe was in reality his. 
His, above all, was the policy of restoring colonies to those powers 
from which we had taken them, and of proving thereby the utterly 
disinterested spirit in which we had undertaken the leading part in 
the war. And, though in February, 1814, he had been quite willing 
to treat with Napoleon as King of France, when the Hundred Days 
began, he more strongly than any one insisted, both before and after 
Waterloo, on the policy of St. Helena ; of the ' Emperor of Elba ' he 
had never approved. 

After the Peace Castlereagh was naturally less happy, though it 
would be wrong to suppose that he was less himself, or less great. 
Britain had to pay the bill for the war, and to meet the reaction after 
it ; and Castlereagh, for Britain, met it almost alone. He was strongly, 


and probably with justice, against a too early resumption of cash 
payments ; he was firm and unbending, but not in the least unmerciful, 
in his determination to subdue all movements for Radical reform. He 
had to face and to bear all the odium of the abominable business of 
Queen Caroline's trial. Abroad he had to keep the peace of Europe, 
and was therefore wrongly suspected of being in sympathy with the 
principles of the ' Holy Alliance ' ; the after-waves of the great 
political storm were still heaving, the union of the Powers was always 
in danger of breaking up. Fully realizing all the dangers ahead, 
Castlereagh maintained only one principle, Peace ; and, for Great 
Britain, only one line of policy, non-interference. He did not ' detest ' 
democracy as Wellington did, nor the principle of nationality, as his 
own opponents believed him to do, for in fact he detested nothing ; 
he was too far-sighted, and too reasonable for hatreds, and he brought 
all things to the test of reason and expediency, with the interest of his 
own country ever paramount in his eyes. 

It is this temper which explains Castlereagh's steady triumph 
over difficulties during his comparatively brief life. It is not to be 
supposed that a man of his lofty character enjoyed bribing the mem- 
bers of the Irish Houses of Parliament to vote for the Union, but, 
having made up his mind that the Union was a necessity, and knowing 
that only political (not direct pecuniary) bribery would carry it, 
he went to work thoroughly and unflinchingly ; no doubt he stirred up, 
thereby, the first great set of hatreds against himself. Nor is it to be 
supposed that a man of Castlereagh's intellect and disinterestedness 
took any pleasure or pride in being caressed and flattered by Kings 
and Emperors, as Greville (who was a very young man when Castle- 
reagh died, and owns that he had no acquaintance with him) believed. 
Indeed, before we measure Castlereagh properly, we must reflect for 
what persons and with what colleagues he had to work ; his own 
substitute for a King was George IV ; his colleagues on the Treasury 
Bench, at the height of their own power, were Sidmouth, Eldon, and 
Liverpool ; his allies had to be the base intriguers Metternich and 


Talleyrand, the shifty Alexander, the honest blockhead Frederick 
William, together with those Kings of comic opera, Ferdinand of 
Spain and Ferdinand of Naples. Above all, and it makes him greatest 
of all, his cause was the unpopular one ; the mass of mankind was 
full of the unrest left by the French Revolution, full of vague principles 
of humanitarianism, nationality, democracy, but failed to understand 
whither these principles would lead ; it hated, therefore, to be governed 
by reason, precedent and experience hated, in some countries, to be 
governed at all. And this mass saw and rightly saw in Castlereagh 
its natural enemy ; for it saw one who cared little for principles of 
government, for theoretical reforms, one whose watchwords were 
peace, order, and expediency one, in a word, who dared to govern 
and did govern. He was the last English statesman who dared this ; 
and hence the second great load of hatred which fell upon him in his 
lifetime and on his memory after death. 

Castlereagh went on his way undaunted ; it was not the popular 
hatred that broke down his noble brain, but the fact that at fifty-three 
he had worked it to death in the service of his country and in the 
service of European peace. Some private trouble also weighed upon 
his mind ; there is a story that he had once been decoyed under false 
pretences by some political or personal enemy into a house of infamous 
reputation, and blackmailed ever afterwards ; whether the tale, which 
lacks confirmation, be true or not, his mind began in the summer of 
1822 to be clouded with terrors and delusions about being in danger, 
and he took his own life in August. The mob pelted his hearse on its 
way to the Abbey. 

Strange as it seems to us, a certain unpopularity clung to Castle- 
reagh even in Parliament, not because of the ' happy mixture of 
courtesy and stubbornness ' by which he so ably overcame his opponents, 
but because he was no orator. His speeches were often prolix, and 
he had an Irish habit of mixing his metaphors ; these same speeches, 
however, were full of close reasoning and full of clever points, and he 
was very often, but not always, an effective debater. But the passion 


of both sides, and especially of the Whig side, was for oratory, for 
floods of splendid empty words which could beat down logic and 
truth. Castlereagh, as Napoleon's most honourable Ambassador, 
Caulaincourt, said of him, was both ' just and passionless ', and these 
qualities did not always appeal even to such an intelligent audience 
as the old House of Commons. His eloquence, as Alison says, was 
that of a judge impartially summing up the evidence, not that of 
a barrister forcibly presenting the case of a client. In his dispatches, 
which he invariably drafted with his own hand, Castlereagh was 
singularly lucid. His extraordinary courtesy, coupled with his great 
personal beauty, no doubt made more impression abroad than at home, 
and his biographer's comparison of him in this respect to Marlborough 
is by no means inapt. All the most honourable and high-minded of 
his political rivals fixed upon his generosity to themselves as his 
greatest quality ; in fact, personal enmity was a thing unknown to 
him. It was not unknown to those who hated what he represented ; 
witness the bitter railing of the adventurer Brougham and the savage 
and unprintable malice of Byron. 

In private life Castlereagh was the simplest of mankind, quiet, 
affectionate, and beloved by every one at home, devoted to his beau- 
tiful wife who was, however, somewhat imperious and somewhat of 
a spoiled child of fashion. Unlike Walpole, Pitt, and many other 
great Ministers, Castlereagh strove hard to live within his income, 
in spite of an enormous inheritance of debt which necessitated heavy 
mortgages on the family estates. The only ' hobby ' he had was 
gardening, and to that, the ' purest of human pleasures ', his tiny 
intervals of leisure were devoted. 



Admiral, was the son of Swynfen Jervis, a barrister, afterwards 
treasurer of Greenwich Hospital, and of Elizabeth Parker. He was 
educated at private schools, and entered the Navy in 1749. In the 
Seven Years' War he served under Boscawen and Saunders, getting 
his first command, a prize, in 1758, and being present with Saunders's 
fleet at the capture of Quebec. He attained post-captain's rank in 
1760. In 1769-72 he was in the Mediterranean, and stood up, in true 
British captain's fashion, to the Genoese Government, when it tried 
to recapture two Moslem slaves who had taken refuge on his ship. 
In 1773-4 he travelled on the Continent, studying languages and 
naval problems, and especially, with a view to future business, making 
examinations of the French Atlantic ports. In 1778 he commanded 
the Foudroyant in Keppel's unfortunate action off Ushant, and deposed, 
at the subsequent court martial, strongly in the Admiral's favour. 
He was present in the same ship on all three occasions of the relief 
of Gibraltar (1780, 1781, 1782), and was knighted for a gallant action 
off Ushant in the last of these years ; while he commanded her, the 
Foudroyant was the model ship of the fleet. After the Peace, Jervis 
entered Parliament as a moderate Whig, and attained flag rank in 
1787. When the Great War began he was hard upon sixty years of 
age, but commanded the squadron sent to the West Indies in 1794, 
superseded Hotham in the Mediterranean at the end of the following 
year, and in 1796 was obliged to superintend the disastrous evacuation 
of the great inland sea. He fell back to Gibraltar and Lisbon, with 
the intention of preventing at least the junction of the Brest and 
Toulon fleets with the Spanish. It was the last of these three enemies 
that he destroyed in the first really great victory of the war, the 


battle of Cape St. Vincent in February, 1797. Captain Mahan con- 
siders that this action places Jervis in the very forefront of British 
admirals : ' Whether we consider the vastly superior numbers then 
deliberately engaged, the tactics of the admiral on the battlefield, 
or his appreciation of the critical position in which Great Britain then 
stood, his conduct on that occasion must make the battle of Cape 
St. Vincent ever illustrious among the most brilliant sea-fights of all 
ages.' Jervis received an Earldom and a pension of 3,000 a year ; 
he at once established a blockade of Cadiz, which lasted for nearly 
two years. He sent Nelson to Teneriffe in 1797, and in 1798 sped 
him into the Mediterranean on the glorious errand which ended in the 
battle of the Nile. 

The old admiral ruled his fleet by terror rather than by love. 
1797 was also the year of the two mutinies at home, and the dis- 
affection was rife in the Mediterranean fleet. He repressed it in the 
sternest manner, and though Nelson applauded his individual punish- 
ments of mutineers, he remarked that ' Lord St. Vincent takes a 
hatchet where I would take a pen- knife '. He always insisted that 
the crew of a mutineer's ship should themselves be the executioners, 
however much they sympathized with their victim ; and in the 
famous instance of the Marlborough he drew the rest of the fleet with 
loaded guns close round the ship, prepared to fire into her, or even 
sink her, if her crew should refuse to hang one of their comrades 
convicted of mutiny. He was almost equally stern to his officers, 
even to those of the highest rank ; one admiral, whom he summarily 
ordered home, demanded a court martial on St. Vincent's conduct, 
and subsequently challenged him to a duel. There can, however, 
be no doubt that his sternness was both needed and salutary, and 
that the subsequent discipline of British fleets is largely due to him. 
During the blockade of Cadiz, St. Vincent, whose failing health did 
not improve his temper, though it never impaired his watchfulness 
or his stern discipline, lived chiefly at Gibraltar, whence he dispatched 
the expedition under Duckworth which, in November, 1798, retook the 

From the drawing by Bouch in the National Portrait Gallery 

Fact f>. 124 


invaluable island of Minorca. It was from the Rock, too, that he 
watched in May, 1799, Bruix's twenty-five sail-of-the-line, which 
Bridport had allowed to escape from Brest, run through the Straits 
before a full gale of wind ; he at once sent Keith from Cadiz in pursuit. 
Keith's chase, gallant as it was, considering his inferior numbers, 
failed to bring the enemy to action, but the raid proved utterly futile, 
and early in August the French were back in Brest. St. Vincent had 
meanwhile quitted the station, and returned in broken health to 
England in June. 

In 1801 he became First Lord of the Admiralty in Addington's 
Government, and at once turned his attention to the abuses of pecu- 
lation and waste which had long been rife in the dockyards, as well 
as to the defences of the southern coast. During the whole of the 
short peace of 1802-3 he relentlessly pursued the peculators, finding 
dishonesty and scandalous jobbery everywhere : it was his inquiries 
which led to the report on the conduct of Lord Melville in the next 
Government. It is not very much to the credit of the service that 
St. Vincent became the most unpopular First Lord ever known ; 
but his stern temper must also be held somewhat to blame. Unfor- 
tunately the same spirit of rigidity led him to very ill-timed economies, 
and even to parsimony, of which the effects, when the war reopened, 
were all but disastrous, and did actually endanger the safety of the 
realm. It was this which led Pitt, with some justice, into a sweeping 
attack upon his administration ; in particular he was criticized for 
refusing to build gun-boats a refusal which was probably quite right 
Ships-of-the-line were the need of the hour, and stores to rig and 
caulk those ships, and men to man them. Even Nelson had been 
obliged to complain bitterly of his old commander's unwillingness 
to supply him with either ships or stores or men during his wonderful 
watch outside Toulon. St. Vincent felt Pitt's criticism bitterly, 
resigned the Admiralty in May, 1804, and refused to take command 
of a fleet. But before he left office he had thoroughly established the 
great principle, so admirably put in practice by Cornwallis, of the 


perpetual blockade of Brest, and he had laid down at large the plans 
of naval strategy which culminated at Trafalgar. He utterly dis- 
believed in the possibility of an invasion ; his famous remark, growled 
out in the House of Lords, ' I don't say the French can't come ; I only 
say they can't come by sea ', has often been quoted. 

He commanded the Atlantic fleet under the ' Talents ' Ministry 
(1806-7), and cheerfully stationed himself off Ushant ; but after the 
Tories came in again he retired from active service, and lived, chiefly 
at his country house in Essex, till his eighty-ninth year. He was 
a harsh, grim man of stainless honour, and his life had been one of 
incalculable value to his country. 



poet, son of Thomas Keats and Frances Jennings, was born in Moor- 
fields in the City of London. His father, who probably came from 
Devon, was head ostler in the livery-stable of Mr. Jennings, and 
married his master's daughter. John had two brothers, George and 
Tom, and a sister Fanny, who lived till 1889. The father died in 
1804, and the mother married again in 1805, left her husband, and 
went to live with her widowed mother at Edmonton, then a small 
country town ; she died, tenderly nursed by her son John, in 1810. 
A fair provision was made for the children, for their grandfather Mr. 
Jennings had been well off, but the money was vested, after Mrs. 
Jennings's death (1810) in a trustee who had scant sympathy with 
poetry, and who, though perfectly honest, seems to have been a bad 
man of business. The result was that the three brothers, in spite of 
considerable frugality, were often much poorer than they need have 
been if they had been fairly treated by their trustee. John in 

From a portrait by Joseph Severn in the possession of the Marquis of Crewe, K.G. 

Face p. 126 


particular was often in serious poverty, and was haunted by the fear of 
worse. He was sent to a good school at Enfield, learned Latin, French, 
and History, and was afterwards enabled to acquire Italian. He was 
passionately fond of fighting, and, though short of stature, a very 
handsome manly lad, who made friends readily and kept them warmly 
attached to him till his early death. He displayed a boyish enthu- 
siasm for poetry, especially for the Faerie Queene, and was articled 
to a surgeon at Edmonton in 1810. His indentures were soon can- 
celled and he went to live in the Borough, as a student at Guy's 
Hospital, in 1814 ; he showed considerable ability but little interest 
in surgery, and spent much of his time writing sonnets. But he 
qualified as licentiate in 1816, just about the date at which he became 
acquainted with Leigh Hunt. He met Shelley in the same year, but 
was not attracted by him. He then (1816) began to live with his two 
brothers, who were both clerks in the counting-house of their unsym- 
pathetic trustee, Mr. Abbey ; he also resided a good deal (he was for 
ever shifting his residence) with Leigh Hunt at Hampstead ; Haydon 
was another acquaintance of the same date. Hunt began at the end 
of the year to publish some of Keats's sonnets in the Examiner. The 
first collected volume of Poems was issued in 1817, and was ill received. 
In the Isle of Wight in 1817 the poet began Endymion ; on his return 
to lodgings at Hampstead he made friends with Brown and Dilke, 
two of his warmest champions until, and long after, his death ; with 
another friend, an Oxford undergraduate, Bailey, he spent part of 
the autumn of 1817, walking about the scenes which afterwards 
inspired Matthew Arnold. There for the first time slight indications 
of ill-health appeared ; Keats's brother, Tom, was already declared to 
be consumptive. John Keats met Wordsworth (who snubbed him) 
in that winter, also Lamb and Hazlitt. Endymion was published 
early in 1818, and Isabella and Hyperion were begun or planned. 
His brother, George, married and emigrated to America in the summer 
of 1818 ; John Keats and Brown saw them off at Liverpool, and 
then took a long walking tour through Scotland. This did the poet's 


lungs little good, and he was obliged to return by sea to London. 
The famous reviews of his poetry in Blackwood and the Quarterly 
appeared in the autumn of 1818 ; as long as his health held out he took 
them philosophically, but the sting which they left rankled in his 
sensitive mind and bore fruit as soon as his disease developed seriously. 
Tom Keats died in December soon after John's return from the North ; 
the three brothers had been tenderly attached to each other, and now 
John had lost both. Early in 1819 he fell madly in love with a Hamp- 
stead neighbour, Miss Fanny Brawne ; she seems to have been nothing 
more than an ordinary ' pretty girl ', of high spirits and kind temper, 
and quite unable to understand the ardour of this most passionate 
of poets and men. Keats could write charming letters to his brothers, 
his sister, and his friends long, rhyming, gossiping, and (if one may 
be pardoned such a phrase) ' jolly ' letters ; but his letters to Fanny 
Brawne are nothing less than painful. He felt his poverty to be one 
hopeless bar to marriage, and perhaps began to guess that his disease 
would be another. He had at this time several projects for earning 
a competence, but Brown, then his wisest friend, encouraged him to 
cling to poetry ; they wrote a tragedy, Otho the Great, together, and 
it was very nearly accepted for Drury Lane ; Keats afterwards wrote 
a fine dramatic fragment on King Stephen ; Lamia, and an attempt 
at rewriting Hyperion, also date to 1819. George Keats came to 
England on business (he had hitherto been unsuccessful in America) 
for a few days in 1820, and found John much changed ; George had 
hardly gone before the first actual haemorrhage occurred. In July, 
however, came out the second volume of Poems, containing much 
of his greatest work Lamia, Isabella, St. Agnes' Eve, and the fragment 
of Hyperion. Keats in his illness, which increased all the summer, 
received much kindness from all his friends, and especially from Leigh 
Hunt ; he was even nursed for some time in the house of his own 
sweetheart by her mother, Mrs. Brawne. Finally, the doctors advised 
him to try a winter in Italy ; Shelley warmly offered him hospitality 
there, which Keats refused. He sailed for Naples in September with 


the young artist, Joseph Severn, who nursed him with devoted fidelity 
in Rome till his death in February 1821. 

It is extraordinarily difficult both to ' account for ' John Keats 
and to appraise him as man and poet. Probably every one will admit 
that he wrote sonnets that will live with the finest passages of any 
English poet ; he had indeed steeped himself in Spenser, Shakespeare, 
and the Elizabethans, and no less in Milton, in Fletcher, and many 
other of the seventeenth-century poets. Is it an insolent heresy to 
wish he had steeped himself a little less ? Sir Sidney Colvin rightly 
calls him ' more of an Elizabethan than Coleridge or Wordsworth ' ; 
but is this the highest tribute to his originality ? The writer's hand 
trembles as he suggests the idea that in the greater part of Keats's 
poetry there is something a little artificial ; that the 

linked sweetness long drawn out 

is not only apt to cloy but also smells of the lamp ? Keats spoke of 
' charging every rift with ore ' as being the business of a poet ; but 
did Shelley, the other great poets' poet, ' charge ' his thoughts at all ? 
did they need charging ? indeed, ought a poet to have a business ? 
It is at all events a bad simile, though one too accurately expressing 
Keats's method of work. 

It was perhaps because of the peculiarly savage nature of the 
attacks in the Tory reviews that Keats, when he came to his crown, 
which was not till the publication of the Life and Letters by Lord 
Houghton in 1848, was set down as the greatest of the Romantics. 
Perhaps also it was from some natural wonder in his admirers at such 
unsolved riddles as these : whence did a London lad, of the most 
unpoetical antecedents and surroundings, obtain his inspiration ? 
how did such a lad contrive, from translations, from the fibrous 
roots of Lempriere's Classical Dictionary, and from an occasional 
visit to the dismal vaults of the British Museum, to distil the spirit 
that quickens the Hymn to Pan in Endymion, and the Ode to a Grecian 
Urn. Shelley, of course, had really seen Pan, and knew the Gods of 

H. P. IV K 


Greece intimately, not only by reading but by familiar intercourse 
but Keats ? When we turn to the man, it is clear that his nature 
was a dual one ; from his early years he admitted to his brothers 
that he had moods of great depression as well as of great exaltation ; 
and yet he had, what is very rare in persons of such morbid tempera- 
ment, great manly courage, not only of the physical but of the moral 
order. It is infinitely pleasant to read of him thrashing a stalwart 
butcher on Hampstead Heath for tormenting a cat ; it is even more 
pleasant to note the extraordinarily good fight that he made, again 
and again, during his last two years against the double ravages of 
disease and hopeless love-passion. Stories of dissipation (for very 
short periods) have been told against him ; more certainly to be 
proved are the long months of courageous resistance to temptations, 
and the intense determination to give to the world poetical ideas 
which would place him among the immortals. Now this is a tem- 
perament not wholly irreconcilable with an overmastering passion 
for a woman ; but, as Miss Brawne requited, so far as she was capable 
of requiting, his affection, it is not so easy to see why, instead of 
soothing his mental and physical troubles, his love seems actually to 
have aggravated them. 



poet, was the grandson of a rich Sussex Whig squire who was created 
a baronet in 1806, and the son of Timothy Shelley, who succeeded to 
his father's title in 1815. His mother was Elizabeth Pilfold, a lady 
' endowed with fair intellectual ability, though not of a literary 
temperament '. The poet was born at Field Place, near Horsham, 
and had four sisters, to whom he was warmly attached, and a brother. 
He was bullied at a private school at Sion House, near Isleworth, 
but there is no reason to suppose that he was bullied at Eton, 1804^10 ; 
he was merely pronounced to be ' mad ', a classification very com- 
monly made by ordinary schoolboys. He was already writing novels 
and poetry before he left school. At University College, Oxford, 
iSio-n, he made a warm friend of the eccentric Hogg, and was 
expelled for writing The Necessity of Atheism. His father refused to 
receive him at home, and he took lodgings in London, made a mesalli- 
ance with a girl of sixteen called Harriet Westbrook (daughter of 
a retired coffee-house keeper), whom he believed, and who believed 
herself, to be persecuted at home. His father made him an allowance 
of 200 a year, and ' Jew ' Westbrook added the same amount ; after 
all, Shelley was heir to a title and 20,000 a year. The newly wedded 
pair wandered about from the Lakes to Wales and to Ireland, where 
Shelley tried to rouse the Irish people to a sense of their wrongs (not 
usually believed to be a difficult task), and distributed Republican 
pamphlets, 1812. It was a moral revolution and a bloodless one that 
he preached : his ' plan was ever to disseminate truth and happiness ' . 
The English Government, he thought, must be convinced by his 
arguments. His wife's elder sister Eliza quartered herself on the 
Shelleys, a snake in the peace of the domestic grass. A daughter was 

K 2 


born in 1813 ; Shelley was devoted to his baby, and bitterly disap- 
pointed that its mother cared little for it. In the same year appeared 
his first spiritual daughter, Queen Mob, a philosophical poem, full of 
' free thought ', socialism, and general revolt against society. 

Shelley had already made the acquaintance of Godwin, a bad 
Radical pamphleteer and apostle of revolt, and of his daughter Mary 
Wollstonecraft Godwin, before he discovered the incompatibility of 
Harriet's temper with his own. Harriet left him of her own accord 
in June 1814, and took her daughter to her father's home, where she 
bore Shelley a son. In July Shelley went to the Continent with 
Mary Godwin as his mistress ; they took with them Godwin's step- 
daughter, Jane Claremont. In 1815 Shelley's grandfather died, and 
his father, though refusing to be reconciled, allowed him 1,000 a year, 
out of which Shelley allowed 200 to his wife. Alastor, his first really 
great poem, appeared in 1816, in which year Shelley, Mary, and Jane 
returned to the Continent and took a villa on the Lake of Geneva, 
with Byron as neighbour ; Byron became the father of a daughter 
Allegra by Miss Claremont. Such doings were not calculated to raise 
Shelley's reputation with sober people ; the truth is that he was quite 
ignorant of the relations between Byron and Jane. In the autumn 
the poet settled at Marlow ; he never could keep far from water, 
and, though he did not know stem from stern and could not swim, 
had a passion for boats and boating. In 1816 his wife, who had 
formed another connexion and was pregnant, drowned herself, and 
Shelley, though bitterly remorseful, at once married Mary Godwin, who 
had borne him a son in January. Mary was his real love, his only 
real one, and their affection was mutual, but it may well be doubted 
whether Mary ever properly appreciated the ethereal being whom 
she had captivated. In 1817 Lord Eldon, on the strength of the 
opinions expressed in Queen Mab, decided that Shelley was not a fit 
and proper person to have the custody of his children by Harriet. In 
the same year Leigh Hunt introduced him to Keats ; Hogg remained 
a warm friend ; and Peacock, whose passion for rivers was as great 

From the portrait by Miss Amelia Curran in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 132 


as Shelley's own, gave him his whole affection. Peacock, however, 
always maintained that Harriet had suffered more wrong than Shelley 
realized. The Revolt of Islam appeared in 1818, in which year the 
poet finally took up his abode in Italy. Julian and Maddalo was the 
result of a visit to Byron at Venice. Shelley was in Rome till June 
1819 ; he also visited Naples and Florence, and at Florence his youngest 
son (who eventually succeeded to the title and estates) was born. 
The Cenci, a drama in five acts, was published in 1819 ; at the end 
of this year the family settled at Pisa. Prometheus Unbound, in four 
acts, came in 1820 ; the Epipsychidion and Adonais date to 1821. 
His very numerous short lyrics, nearly every one of them unsurpassed 
unless by one of its fellows, were spread over the five wonderful 
years, 1817-22. Byron came to Pisa in the year 1821, and Shelley's 
friends Williams, Medwin, and Trelawny were visitors. Early in 1822 
Trelawny took for Shelley and Williams the tumbledown house known 
as the Villa Magni, on the Gulf of Spezia ; Williams an ex-naval 
officer and enthusiastic boat-sailer and Shelley had a craft built 
for them at Genoa after Williams's design, and in this they were 
drowned in a squall in July 1822. Their bodies were cast up, much 
mutilated, some days afterwards, were cremated on the sands, and 
Shelley's remains were buried beside Keats's in Rome. Trelawny 
snatched Shelley's heart (cor cordium) from the flames and burned his 
hand in doing so. 

Shelley's fame was wholly posthumous ; nobody read his great 
poems in his lifetime ; savage reviews slashed them to pieces and 
attacked their author's character, and they were unscrupulously 
pirated after his death. Most people judged him, from Queen Mob, 
to be not only a rebel, outlaw, and atheist, but a man of bad character. 

In reality he was exactly the reverse. ' In no individual,' says 
Hogg, ' was the moral sense ever more completely developed than in 
Shelley ; in no being was the perception of right and wrong more 
acute ; in none was the principle of veneration so strong. I can 
affirm that Shelley was almost the only example I have yet found that 


was never wanting, even in the most minute particular, of the infinite 
and various observances of pure, entire, and perfect gentility.' The 
one blot upon his fame, his so-called desertion of Harriet, has been 
much exaggerated ; in reality Harriet ran away from him because 
she was tired of living with a poet ; again and again he begged her to 
return. Nor was Shelley the ' creature of impulse ' he has been 
described to be ; or, if it was so, he was the creature of high, generous, 
and chivalrous impulses, of which his marriage with Harriet (who had 
offered him ' free love ') was one of the first. As he grew older (and 
he died within a month of thirty) his generosity and chivalry grew 
no less, his toleration and sympathy grew ever greater. His letters 
from Italy to Peacock, besides being perfect models of English prose, 
prove how calmly and skilfully he undertook and carried through, 
in his last two years, the task of peacemaker and friend to such a wild 
household as that of Byron ; how, amid incessant vexation and howls 
for money from his monstrous father-in-law Godwin, he calmly pursued 
his divine task of poetry. There is really a sharp dividing line to be 
drawn, somewhere about 1817, between Shelley, the simple apostle of 
liberty, who believed that by preaching brotherly love he could convert 
the whole world, and that mankind would to-morrow actually awake 
to a brighter dawn, and the Shelley of the Italian period, who, without 
bating a jot of heart or hope for the eventual coming of this dawn, saw 
that it was not destined to come suddenly, and that he must be content 
to be its herald in verse alone. There is little doubt that he, the 
' poets' poet ' par excellence, knew something of the value of that 
verse, and set a high store on his own marvellous gift, but he was as 
free from the least vestige of conceit as from affectation. He was so 
modest as to set Byron, as poet, far above himself, and it has been 
well pointed out that, while their friendship was of inestimable value 
to Byron, restoring to some extent the ideals which his own ignoble 
life had lost him, for Shelley it was positively bad, as it checked the 
flow from the pure well-spring ; Byron learned much from Shelley, 
Shelley had nothing to learn from Byron. Shelley was no doubt too 


clear-sighted to value Byron highly as a man ; for he was every inch 
a gentleman, which, it is sad to say, his Lordship was not. 

The tragedy of Shelley's life came from the fact that, with all his 
fine instincts, he had violated the conventions and the morality of 
ordinary and good human society ; he was unquestionably coming 
to feel this more and more, and to lament it, in his last two years of 
life. But he bore the ordeal of this revelation, as it came to him, 
with great courage, never thinking of himself or his own sufferings, 
always of those whom he had caused to suffer. All his mistakes, all 
his revolts, had really sprung from his fervid desire to right the wrongs, 
first of the world, and then of each individual in it who appealed to 
him. Whence this spirit came to the son of a blunderheaded, narrow- 
minded, honest Sussex Whig, will be explained when ' rivers shall be 
opened in the high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys '. 
Among his kindred, had they been sympathetic, which they were not, 
Shelley might have passed, in Mr. J. A. Symonds's happy phrase, as 
a ' changeling from the land of faery '. Could we indeed believe in 
such things as visions and second-sight, Shelley's character and career 
would be more explicable than it is ; he believed that he saw visions, 
and often acted on the belief. Unquestionably he held communion 
with Nature in all her aspects, to a degree and in a form that has been 
denied to many of the loftiest poets, to a degree that perhaps has been 
granted to no other poet. Almost equally interesting is the fact that, 
side by side with this inspiration and communion, he was a man of 
the highest and clearest intellect, which he constantly cultivated by 
assiduous reading, especially of the Greeks ; he lived the companion 
and peer of Sophocles, whose works he was probably reading as the 
Don Juan capsized (the volume was found in his pocket) ; and he 
died the pupil of Plato, whose influence may be easily traced amidst 
the splendours of his latest poems. He read day and night, in walking 
and in sailing, at meals (if a hunch of dry bread, his favourite food, 
could be called a meal), and in bed. His wife frequently left food on 
a plate near him, but he only ate it when occasional hunger prompted 


him ; he used to say to her, ' Mary, have I dined ? ' Another strange 
habit was his passion for basking ; he would lie on the roof and write 
poetry under the Italian summer sun, or sleep serenely on the hearth- 
rug with his head to a blazing fire. He hated to wear a hat, and never 
wore a great-coat, or wrapped up his neck ; his hair was quite grey 
before his death. Of kin to the three purer elements, he needed for 
his subsistence mainly air, fire, and, most of all, water. 




poet, was born in London, the son of John Byron and Catherine 
Gordon of Gight ; spent his infancy with his mother in Aberdeen, 
in great poverty ; lost his father, who had abandoned his wife, in 
1791 ; became heir to the peerage in 1794, and succeeded to the title 
and to the estate of Newstead Abbey in 1798. He was made a ward 
in Chancery under the guardianship of his kinsman, Lord Carlisle 
was at Harrow School under Dr. Drury, 1801-5 ; at Trinity College 
Cambridge, 1805-8 ; settled at his half-ruined house, Newstead, 
in 1808 ; took his seat in the Lords, 1809 ; started in that year on 
his first foreign tour, visiting successively Portugal, Spain, Malta, and 
Greece ; returned to London, 1811 ; married, January 1815, Anne 
Milbanke, who left him a month after the birth of their only child, 
January 1816 ; returned to the Continent in April 1816 ; settled, first, 
on the Lake of Geneva in company with Shelley ; then travelled to 
Italy, and spent three years at Venice or in its neighbourhood, 1816-19 > 
settled in Ravenna as the avowed lover of the young Countess Guiccioli 
at the end of 1819, and remained till October 1821 ; then crossed to 
Pisa, to Leghorn, to Genoa, until July 1823, when he sailed for Greece 

From the portrait by Thomas Phillips, R.A., in the possession of Mr. John Murray 

Pace p. 136 


to assist the revolt of that country against the Turks. He levied an 
irregular band, half brigands, half soldiers, and died of a fever at 
Missolonghi, which he was trying to fortify at the time, in the thorough 
confidence of the Greek leaders, but without having been able to 
render substantial help to their cause, in April, 1824. 

Thus closed, with some evidence of real heroism, a career which 
had previously given no earnest of any serious purpose except that 
of bidding defiance to the best instincts of English society by some 
startling open breaches of its conventional morality, and by the 
deliberate affectation of more such breaches. Thus closed also the 
career of one who was in a very real sense a poet, and a poet who 
appealed with only too much success to the vague feelings of revolt, 
gloom, and illusion which were current in his time. Byron's success 
in this appeal was unfortunate, for it fed his vanity and lowered the 
standard of his work. In spite of this he wrote lyrics and, in his 
longer works, lyrical passages, which must live for ever. 

As a man, if heredity counts for anything, Byron started with no 
chances whatever in his favour, indeed with enormous odds against 
him. There was insanity on both sides of his family, and insanity of 
just the same rebellious kind, ending in just the same ungovernable 
temper and appetite, as he himself displayed. The fifth Lord was 
as mad as the poet's own father was bad ; the best man of them all 
was Byron's grandfather, the sailor who explored the Pacific and 
sailed round the world in 1764. The best woman was Augusta, after- 
wards Mrs. Leigh, Byron's own half-sister, herself the offspring of 
an adulterous marriage, but the only woman who ever commanded 
his real affection. Byron's mother, descended from James I of Scotland, 
was an heiress and a fool, and was subject to the most fearful out- 
bursts of temper. In short, the wonder is that the son of such parents 
did not turn out a worse man than he did. Byron had great capacity 
for friendship, and even for retaining the friendships of men often 
much more worthy than himself, and he was generally beloved by his 
servants and dependants. For the friendships of women, with the 


exception of his sister, he cared little, for he had, and often showed, 
the greatest contempt for their sex ; but to numbers of women his 
lowest passions successively enslaved him, and he used and vaunted 
these passions as pegs on which to hang that pose of misanthropic 
gloom for which the word ' Byronic ' has since been coined. His 
aristocratic pride of race sat on him in the ugliest fashion, for he was 
absolutely ignorant of the meaning of noblesse oblige. His hatred 
of the framework of society was at last quite as strong as his pride, 
but had been fostered in him by the misery of his childhood, by his 
own bad habits, and his revolt against all reasonable conventional 
restraints. He thought the world treated him ill because he flouted 
the world ; in short he became declasse, and pretended that he gloried 
in the fact. But in his last year at Harrow he had been happy ; 
in spite of lame feet, he was a good fighter, and played cricket for the 
school against Eton with another boy to run for him. He always 
retained an affection for Harrow and for his old school friends, and 
would always be generous to them with his money, whether or no he 
had any to give. At Cambridge he ran riot, and neither at school 
nor University did he ever become a scholar, or travel far into the 
paths of any literature except Italian, and in this, as in other literature, 
his critical taste was very frequently at fault. In London and in 
Italy he again ran riot. He was never a drunkard, although it seemed 
to him a tine thing to drink burgundy out of a skull, and although 
his imagination loved to treble the actual numbers of bottles he had 
consumed at any given bout ; indeed, so great was his horror of 
growing fat that he no doubt undermined his constitution by living 
largely on rice, vinegar, and green tea, and took long rides and very 
long swims with the same object. Nor can he, in comparison with the 
ordinary Regency rakes, be called a gambler ; he professed, rathei 
than exemplified, a lofty disdain for money, refusing, in the days of 
his first fame, to take payment for his poems, but afterwards driving 
very sharp bargains for them, even with his best friend Murray. 
Into the catalogue of his various loves and lusts it is as impossible to 


enter here, as it is to do more than state that there were probably 
faults on both sides in the quarrel with his high-minded, intelligent, 
but somewhat precise wife ; but he showed some interest in his legiti- 
mate daughter Ada, and some affection for his natural daughter 
Allegra, who died in 1822. He was exceedingly fond of confiding 
his passions to all mankind ; and mankind, after being a good deal 
astonished at a wicked peer becoming the poet of liberty, gradually 
ceased to be interested in them ; he kept on swearing that his heart 
was broken at such and such a disdain, or buried in the grave of such 
and such a friend of his youth, and there is no doubt that these shallow 
and transient emotions often inspired him, as similar emotions had 
inspired Burns, with some of his finest poetical ideas. But Burns, 
though he too had much to account for, had a heart that could beat 
to real emotion too. Even for Greece, although there his name is 
still one to conjure with, Byron's enthusiasm had something shallow, 
something theatrical in it. 

Byron first made his poetical name in 1809, with a satire in the 
manner of Pope called English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, written 
because his own early poems had been branded by the savage irons 
of the Edinburgh ; he was afterwards sorry for many things he had 
said in this work. It was, however, the publication of the first instal- 
ment of Childe Harold (1812) that caused him to ' wake up one morning 
and find himself famous '. To mention only the more important of 
his works, there followed in rapid succession The Giaour, The Bride of 
Abydos, 1813, and The Corsair, 1814 ; Lara, 1814, and the Hebrew 
Melodies, 1815 ; The Siege of Corinth and Parisina, 1816, a collected 
volume of some of his finest lyrics in 1816 ; The Prisoner of Chilian, 1816 ; 
the third canto of Childe Harold, 1816 ; the fourth 1818 ; Manfred, 
1817 ; Mazcppa, 1819 ; Marino Faliero, 1820 ; The Two Foscari and 
Cain, 1821. Don Juan, which contains at once some of the finest, 
some of the most degraded, and a great deal of the most commonplace 
of his work, began to appear in 1819, and its last cantos were brought 
out after his death in 1824. The poem was anonymous, but it was 


not so much the anonymity as the subject and the hero which choked 
off Byron's hitherto constant patron, Murray. The question whether 
Murray ought or ought not to have destroyed Byron's Memoirs, in 
the presence, and with the unwilling consent, of Thomas Moore, 
to whom Byron had entrusted them, has often been debated ; but 
it is satisfactory to know that those of Byron's best friends who had 
seen them wished them to be destroyed. Those of his Letters which 
have since been published have added little to his fame. 



artist, son of Robert Raeburn and Ann Elder, was born at Stockbridge, 
Edinburgh. The father came of an old family of peasant landowners, 
of Raeburn in the Border country ; their farm is variously stated 
to have been in Annandale or in Tweeddale. There may have been 
more than one farm of the name ; certainly there were at one time 
also ' Scotts of Raeburn '. Robert Raeburn probably sold his farm 
and migrated to Stockbridge, where he set up as manufacturer in 
a mill on the Water of Leith ; we do not know what he manufactured 
There was a brother William, twelve years older than Henry, who 
went into his father's business, and who, when they were left orphans 
in 1762, did his best to provide for his younger brother. Henry got 
a nomination in 1764 or 1765 to Heriot's Hospital, where he remained 
till 1771. We know nothing of what he learned there, except that 
he was never a classical scholar ; on leaving, he was apprenticed to 
Mr. Gilliland, a jeweller and goldsmith in the Old Town, but lived 
in his brother's house at Stockbridge. His new master was delighted 
with his industry, skill,, and artistic instincts ; he apparently en- 
couraged the boy to embark upon miniature painting, and introduced 
him also to David Martin, who was a portrait-painter of some merit. 

From the portrait by himself belonging to Major Lord Tweedinotith. C.M.G., M.V.O., D S.O. 

Face p. 140 


Martin, probably from jealousy, taught the young man nothing, and 
Raeburn, when he embarked, as he very early did, upon oil-painting, 
had to make all his experiments in art unaided. Nor had he at this 
early date any considerable number of great models in the way of 
pictures from which to study. Thus he was, until his twenty-ninth 
year, wholly a self-taught artist. The goldsmith's training had, 
however, been most valuable to him, as it had been to so many great 
painters of the Italian Renaissance. Raeburn shared with such men 
as Leonardo extraordinary versatility ; he was a student of archi- 
tecture, of building, and above all of model-shipbuilding. He was 
also a keen fisherman, golfer, archer, and gardener. He was a very 
tall, handsome man, of the frankest and most open disposition, and 
took, with perfect ease and without in the slightest degree having his 
head turned by his reception, his place in the most cultivated and 
fastidious society Scotland ever saw. Yet there is hardly anything 
known of his early life, almost no tradition of the sources of his genius, 
and only a very few sketches, such as those drawn by Dr. John Brown 
and Cunningham, of his methods of painting or of his conversation. 

He wrote no letters, and no letters written to him have been 
preserved ; he signed no pictures, he kept no diary, no record of his 
sitters, and, apparently, no account-books. The result is that, except 
from internal evidence, it is often impossible to say what pictures are 
by him, what are imitations. Apparently he had neither pupils nor 
assistants ; he painted the whole of his pictures himself, requiring 
few and short sittings, and working rapidly with ' fateful lines '. He 
thoroughly enjoyed his task, and said it was ' the most delightful 
occupation in the world '. If he did not ' idealize ' his subjects, he 
aimed at, and thoroughly attained, completeness of expression, and 
the reflection of the character in the face. In his work, beyond that of 
any other artist who ever lived, we can see that all his sitters belong 
to one race yea, and that a mighty race ; his gallery of portraits is 
a great history of the Scotland of his day. 

One of the friends of his early days was John Clerk of Eldin, 


afterwards the judge, and a few tales remain of their early excursions 
together. The latest portrait of Raeburn's home life, and almost 
the only one in existence, is that drawn by Mrs. Ferrier, and shows 
us an extraordinarily happy and vivacious circle. Raeburn never 
talked of his art and did not appear to live for it ; when he left his 
painting-room, he went gaily to some other of his numerous and 
delightful occupations, or played in his garden with his children or 
grandchildren. Yet he painted, in the forty-seven years of his activity, 
nearly seven hundred portraits, some of which take rank among the 
world's greatest masterpieces. Wilkie considered that, of all British 
artists, he most nearly approached Velasquez, and he made this 
reflection in the gallery of Madrid itself. 

M In 1778 Raeburn's indentures were out they had long been 
merely nominal and he was already getting many sitters ; with one 
of these, a lady twelve years older than himself, he made a love match, 
which brought him both fortune and great domestic happiness. She 
was Anne Edgar of Bridgelands, Peeblesshire, and was widow of one 
of the Leslies of Balquhain. She had three Leslie children, and her 
own property immediately adjoined the home of Raeburn's brother 
on the Water of Leith. In his old age, if he can be said ever to have 
been old, the painter both amused himself and enriched his family 
by laying out a suburb of the New Town on the site of the two houses ; 
his brother had died without heirs, and left him his property in 1788. 
In 1785, being then twenty-nine, Raeburn resolved to widen his 
horizon, and set off with his wife for Rome. He spent some time, 
but we do not know how long, in London on the way, and paid his 
respects to Reynolds, who received him with the utmost kindness. 
There is a tradition, ill confirmed but not unlikely to be true, that 
Sir Joshua, while warmly commending his desire to go to Rome, 
offered him money for the purpose. He certainly gave him good 
introductions to Roman artists ; but of what Raeburn did during 
his two years in Rome we are left in almost total ignorance, though 
there is a story, very likely to be true, that he was so much impressed 


by Michael Angelo's statuary that he seriously thought of abandoning 
painting for sculpture. His style was formed before he went to Italy, 
and if it acquired greater breadth after his return, such an improve- 
ment might also have come by mere experience without the journey. 
We only know that he took a new studio (in George Street) on his 
return in 1787 ; from this he moved, shortly afterwards, to the present 
' Raeburn House ' in York Place, where he built himself a large 
gallery. On three subsequent occasions he seems to have visited 
London, and at one time thought of settling there (1810) ; Lawrence's 
earnest advice against such a course may well have been prompted 
by jealousy. And, much as one would have valued a portrait of 
Castlereagh or of Melbourne in his youth by Raeburn's hand, the 
experiment of transplantation might not have proved successful. In 
Scotland he had already painted all the leaders of the brilliant society 
of Edinburgh, and many likenesses of the men and women of the 
most virile and unspoiled aristocracy in Europe. It is in the families 
of these people that his best work is still to be seen, and it is quite 
possible that there are many fine Raeburns which have never been 
exhibited, and of which even the artistic world knows only by hearsay 

In English collections, either public or private, he is almost 
unrepresented, or represented only by second-rate work of doubtful 
authenticity. He excelled perhaps most in his delineation of women 
of middle age or already past middle age ; let the visitor to the Scottish 
National Gallery consider especially his ' Mrs. Campbell of Ballymore ', 
probably painted about 1810. Perhaps his finest male portraits are 
those of James Wardrop of Torbanehill and of Admiral Duncan. 
Nothing, however, can be finer and simpler than the portrait of his 
own wife, now the property of Lord Tweedmouth. This little lady 
talked the broadest Scots to the end of her days, and one is glad 
to think that she was not uprooted to be set down in London in her 
sixty-seventh year. 

The question has been raised whether Raeburn ever painted 
Robert Burns, and it is probable that he did not ; for, at the date of 


Burns's first and most famous visits to Edinburgh, 1786-7, Raeburn 
was in Rome : if, indeed, he touched Nasmyth's portrait of Burns, 
now in the National Portrait Gallery, as the catalogue of that Gallery 
asserts, there is no proof of the fact. It is quite possible, however, 
that the poet and the painter met in 1788, and that Raeburn, who 
in 1803 certainly copied Nasmyth's Burns, was aided in that copy 
by his own recollection. The most famous of his six portraits 
of Sir Walter Scott is that painted for Constable in 1808, now at 
Dalkeith ; ' Camp ' the bull-terrier and Hermitage Castle are in the 
picture. The 1809 portrait is now at Abbotsford. Scott was an 
exceedingly bad and restless sitter, and his ignorance of art was 
genuine and unabashed ; of these two magnificent full-lengths he 
only says ' he has twice made a very chowder-headed person of me '. 
Yet he preferred Raeburn's work to that of any other artist, and, after 
the artist's death, spoke enthusiastically of his character and con- 

Raeburn had exhibited at the Academy at intervals since 1792, 
and yet it was not till 1814, when he had four portraits on its walls, 
that he was elected an Associate, probably by Wilkie's influence ; 
in the next year he became an Academician. In 1822 George IV 
knighted him on his visit to Edinburgh ; Wilkie describes how Lady 
Raeburn, who gave all her friends a charming dinner-party the next 
day, utterly refused to allow herself to be called ' My Lady '. Next 
year Raeburn accompanied Scott, Miss Edgeworth, and a large party 
of friends on an excursion to St. Andrews (one of Scott's annual 
frolics with Adam), and seems there to have contracted the chill from 
which he died. But he died in harness, for though very ill he was 
working on a half-length of Scott a week before his death. Lady 
Raeburn survived him ten years. 



poet and artist, was the son of a hosier in London. Very few facts 
are known, and perhaps no more are likely to be known, about his 
life. The sources of our information are carefully tabulated by his 
latest editor, Dr. Sampson, in the introduction to the Oxford edition 
of his Poems ; we know that one Tatham destroyed a good deal of 
Blake's visionary writings, and afterwards wrote a memoir on the 
subject, which is not now to be seen. Of the ' Life ' published by the 
widow of Alexander Gilchrist in 1863, hitherto regarded as the 
standard work on Blake, Dr. Sampson speaks as if it could hardly be 
regarded as an authority at all. The bare facts ascertainable are 
these : Blake was born in Soho, went to a drawing-school at ten and 
studied the antique, wrote poetry from his twelfth year, when he was 
apprenticed to an engraver of sympathy and intelligence ; became 
a student at the Academy at twenty-one, was introduced to Stothard 
and Flaxman ; married in 1782 a charming and most congenial wife, 
who shared all his fortunes and survived him by four years ; kept 
a printseller's shop, 1784-7 ; exhibited occasionally in the Academy ; 
lived in Poland Street from 1787 till 1793. Here he produced in book- 
form, by a process of his own, his best-known work, the Songs of 
Innocence, 1789. Whether or no he resorted to this process because 
he could not afford to print and publish we do not know, but the book 
was illustrated by his own designs, engraved by himself, with no help 
but that of his wife. The Songs of Experience came in 1794. In 1793 
Blake moved to Lambeth, and in 1800 to Felpham on the invitation 
of Hayley, who bored him with kindness. He came back to London 
in 1803. His last date of exhibition at the Academy was 1808. He 
made the acquaintance in 1813 of John Linnell, who introduced him 
to several other artists, and loyally helped him and set him to work, 


so far as his own scanty means allowed, until the end. For Linnell 
he did his last great work, the Inventions to the Book of Job, and began 
also to illustrate Dante. From 1820 till his death Blake lived in 
a court off the Strand, always poor and neglected, but apparently 
contented so far as earthly concerns went. The dates of his other 
works are given by Gilchrist. All, even the Prophetic Books, eight 
in number, were illustrated and engraved by his own hands, with his 
wife's assistance. The name Prophetic Books was given to the series 
of Blake's purely visionary writings by Gilchrist, not by their author ; 
they are not all in verse, and little of them is in regular metre : they 
contain here and there lyrics of great beauty. No one understands 
them ; Swinburne wrote a Critical Essay in 1868, which ' remains the 
most readable introduction to them '. ' They are either more or less 
than literature, according to the point of view of the reader.' 

For the truth is that Blake's life was not so much an ordinary 
life as one long connected series of spiritual experiences. The subject 
of these was not mad in the ordinary sense, for the experiences were 
harmonious and progressive, though they progressed ultimately into 
regions where no one has been able to follow or understand them. 
They were visions culminating in prophecy. As Sir Walter Raleigh 
well says, Blake had no masters except the Elizabethans, Milton, and 
the Bible ; and he eventually drew away, perhaps to his own hurt, 
into regions beyond even the last of these. He had also no disciples, 
and probably desired none. He was, before the blossoming of the 
Romantic movement, a Romantic movement to himself ; all that was 
in the Romantics was of his essence. And he saw or created in 
later life a mythology for himself, full of Titan angels, and under the 
sway of a theosophy not within the range of our grasp. He began 
as a child in the real ' Holy Land ', in which Law and Reason are 
superfluities, and ended as an anarchist to whom they are enemies. 
But he was not an active anarchist, for his un-kingdom was not of this 
world, nor did he desire that it should be. The same admirable critic 
points out that Blake, if he had any wish to deliver a message to the 

\ .= 





Pace p. 146 


world, would have been clogged by his lack of education, by his 
contempt for ordinary human forms of expression, either in drawing 
or writing, and by his contempt for Nature, which he regarded as 
the work of the devil. And so ' the pride of his imagination mocked 
at the meat it should have fed on ', with the result that he gradually 
ceased to be either a great draughtsman or an intelligible poet ; a great 
composer of pictures he remained witness his Book of Job to the 
very last. Sir Walter considers that Swedenborg was the evil genius 
whose works led Blake astray from his earlier and purer vision ; ' he 
became self-absorbed, self-involved '. 

Most of us need go no further, some of us will have no wish to go 
further, than the Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience. 
In these is to be found the Everlasting Gospel ; by these the poet 
claims and wins his immortal crown. 



artist and wood-engraver, was the son of a small farmer at Ovingham 
on Tyneside, and got some good country schooling. At the age of 
fourteen he left the country-side with regret, to be apprenticed to an 
engraver in Newcastle, but he had begun to draw and paint long 
before that date. His master's business at first only ran to the com- 
monest and cheapest kind of wood-blocks, such stamps, for instance, 
as tradesmen needed at the head of their bills, but early in the decade 
of 1770-80 came a demand for cheap cuts to illustrate children's 
books of stories and natural history. Bewick embarked on this task 
with industry, skill, and a wonderful knowledge of the forms of beasts 
and birds. Soon after his articles were out he went to London, and 
got some work there, but returned to the North and was taken as 
a partner by his old master. In 1779 came his first great success, 



when he designed and engraved the wood-blocks for a new edition 
of Gay's Fables, and in 1784 for Select Fables. The first editions of 
the General History of Quadrupeds came in 1790 ; the Land Birds in 
1797, and the Water Birds in 1804. After this it becomes difficult 
to be quite sure what designs and which engravings to the numerous 
books which he illustrated are his own unaided work or that of his 
' school ' ; he had several pupils to his trade, including his own son, 
and he was modest and indifferent to fame. He seems to have had 
a happy and prosperous life, and wrote a most interesting memoir of 
it, which was published by his daughter in 1862. 

His best-known service to art is that he revived wood-engraving, 
which was practically extinct when he began his career, and he in- 
vented a new method of carving the blocks. In the opinion of the 
best judges he was even greater as an original designer ; his birds fly 
and his cats prowl so perfectly in accordance with nature that one 
seems to hear their cries. But even more admired than these figures 
are the little vignettes or tail-pieces to the texts ; here he applied 
to country life a humour not inferior to that which Hogarth applied 
to town life. A good judge has pointed out Bewick's entire detestation 
of cruelty to animals ; in many of those tail-pieces in which he depicts 
any act of brutality you will find a gibbet drawn somewhere in the 
background, waiting, in the artist's estimation, for the perpetrator 
of the act. Every one no doubt will have his own favourite among 
Bewicks ' ; but it is generally admitted that the two volumes of the 
Birds were his greatest achievement. Charles Kingsley was not far 
wrong when he wrote ' If they want to describe a finished young 
gentleman in France, they say of him, " II sait son Rabelais." But, 
if I want to describe one in England, I say, " He knows his Bewick." 
And I think that is the higher compliment '. 



artist, was the son of a rope-maker in London, and learned to draw 
from his childhood. ' If Tom Girtin had lived, he would have beaten 
all of us ', said the artist who was most likely to appreciate him, 
Turner, the companion of Girtin's boyhood and youth. The details 
of the early life of both, as also of that of John Cozens, are obscure ; 
but the artistic pedigree is clear ; Cozens, who died in 1799, aged 
forty-seven, was the forerunner of both and the father of English 
water-colour painting ; Girtin derived from Cozens, and Turner, 
though exactly a contemporary, derived from Girtin ; while, by another 
Muse, Girtin became the spiritual father of Constable. Girtin was 
apprenticed to a draughtsman of some merit, Dayes ; but he broke 
his indentures, and afterwards earned quite unmerited slanders from 
Dayes in consequence. Turner and Girtin as boys used to go together 
to the house of a Dr. Munro in the evenings to draw, and their patron 
gave them half-a-crown apiece and their supper ; Munro had in his 
house seme Gainsbo roughs and Canalettos. The boys also went 
sketching together by the river ; whether they travelled to Wales 
and the North together or separately about the year 1793 is uncertain ; 
but Girtin exhibited an ' Ely Cathedral ' in the Academy in 1794, 
and henceforth a modest success was assured to him. Before he died 
(at twenty-seven) he had patrons in the highest ranks of society, 
and the demand for his water-colours was so great that he actually 
hastened his own end by trying to keep up with it. He married a 
goldsmith's daughter, went to France at the Peace of Amiens, painted 
a series of lovely sketches of Paris, and returned, dying, to die in the 
November of 1802. 

Simplicity and repose are the notes of Girtin's work, but there 
is immense vigour and daring half-concealed behind the repose. He 
has the same affection for sober tints as Cozens, but plays upon a much 


more extensive colour-scale than he. Further comparison is difficult 
because Cozens painted chiefly in Italy, Girtin, with the exception 
of his one visit to France, in England or Wales. Leslie, who set an 
almost equal value on the works of each, called Girtin's ' a style of 
more equally-sustained excellence than that of Cozens ' ; he also 
knew many who had known Girtin, and who gave him the highest 
character ' as a young man of noble, generous, unselfish nature, with 
little consciousness of his own merit, careful in making his drawings, 
careless of them when made '. It is greatly to be regretted that 
Girtin's work, in common with that of many early water-colourists, 
has faded terribly. 



artist, was the son and grandson of men connected with painting, 
his father being a portrait-painter and picture-dealer in London, and 
more than once a bankrupt. Morland's career is one of the saddest 
in the history of men of genius. His father denied him all education 
except in art, tried to exploit for his own pecuniary advantage the 
boy's wonderful natural gift for drawing, and even pandered to his 
boyish naughtiness in order to get him to go on making copies. The 
Dutchmen were Morland's true masters, but as a boy he knew and 
copied from Reynolds and Romney too ; both would have patronized 
him but for his early-displayed passion for low tastes and low company. 
Drink was his curse (though not his only curse), and it brought a fine 
physique, a noble talent, and indefatigable industry to an early death 
in a sponging-house. He used to thirl himself to picture-dealers, 
who kept him supplied with drink, canvas, and materials for work. 
He married early and tried for a time to reform his ways, but soon 
deserted his wife, though he made her money payments whenever 


From the portrait by John Opie, R.A., in the 
National Portrait Gallery 


From the chalk drawing by himsell in the 
National Portrait Gallery 


From a mezzotint by James Watson of a portrait by 

Sir Joshua Reynolds, P. R.A. 


Fiom a miniature painted by liimsell in the 
National Portrait Gallerv 

Fact p. 150 


he could do so. Nobody except his temporary slave-drivers knew 
where he was to be found at any given time. Under such conditions 
of slavery he produced in his short life pictures whose number ran 
well into four figures, as well as sketches which the dealers got other 
people to work up and sell as ' Morlands ' ; for these the public demand 
was immense. His gift was for genre painting of the homeliest English 
kind, and the remarkable thing about it is that, in spite of the degraded 
character of the artist, his taste remained pure. Indeed Leslie uses 
his work to illustrate the truth that innate vulgarity is sure to be 
betrayed by the pencil : ' There is no vulgarity in Morland ; his 
works display a natural refinement of taste which, as in the best 
Dutch art, is the more striking from the homely character of his 
subjects ; his best works will always sustain comparison with those 
of Gainsborough.' 



engraver, was born in France, the son of a goldsmith, studied anatomy 
with great care, studied also antique sculpture, was apprenticed to 
a Venetian engraver, and came to England in 1764. Mr. Dalton, 
George Ill's librarian, was then purchasing pictures for the King in 
Italy, and it was he who persuaded the engraver to seek a market 
for his talents in England. Bartolozzi on his arrival found George III 
on his knees cleaning a picture which had been offered to him as 
a Paolo Veronese, but which the Italian pronounced to be an ' infamous 
copy '. Mr. Dalton employed him as an engraver at a regular salary 
for three years, and was succeeded as employer by Alderman Boydell, 
the most enlightened of patrons, for whom Bartolozzi did an immense 
amount of work. In 1765 he joined the Incorporated Society of 
Artists, and in 1769 was chosen one of the first members of the new 


Royal Academy. He had taste, skill, and infinite laboriousness ; but 
he was generous and careless of money, and so was in constant need 
of it. The result was that he lowered his own fame and allowed 
thousands of works to pass for his own which were really executed 
by his pupils and scarcely touched by himself. When he worked at 
his best, he was a really first-rate line-engraver, but he found it paid 
better to etch, and was as proficient in this more rapid process as 
with the graving-tool. There is a peculiar type of etching in soft 
lines with a red finish which is typical of Bartolozzi's work, and which 
was called ' engraving ' without being really so. The last of the old 
line-engravers, Strange, did not spare criticism on Baitolozzi for this 
fatal facility. Strange was the more mortified because he was not 
elected to the Academy ; but Bartolozzi was chosen not merely as an 
engraver but as a ' painter, designer, and engraver ', which Strange 
could not claim to, be. 

Some of Bartolozzi's best work is his engraving of Stothard's 
lovely figures ; these, with a few Hogarths (for whose art he had an 
immense admiration), a magnificent ' Clytie ', and a magnificent 
' Madonna ' after Andrea del Sarto, are perhaps the finest things of 
his English period. In 1802, in his seventy-fifth year, he accepted an 
offer from the King of Portugal to go and take charge of the National 
Gallery at Lisbon, and he died there in the year of Waterloo. ' In 
England/ he said soon after his migration, ' I was always in debt, 
and I was tired of work ; here I go to Court, see the King, have many 
friends, keep my horse and drink my wine, on a salary which in London 
would not have allowed me a jackass and a pint of porter.' Yet he 
always retained affectionate remembrance of England, and there is 
some reason to fear that in his last years he was neglected in Lisbon, 
and that he died in poverty though not in actual want. There is an 
admirable biography of him by Mr. Andrew Tuer. 



artist in caricature, was the son of a private soldier afterwards a sexton 
at Chelsea. He was apprenticed to a sign-writer, and then became 
a student at the Academy. He embarked upon the career of political 
caricaturist in the last year of the War of the American Rebellion ; 
and from 1782 to 1811 he poured out an incessant stream of repulsive 
and occasionally quite horrible drawings, done with feverish haste 
but amazing skill and ruthlessness. No one, from King George and 
Queen Charlotte downwards, was spared, but the Whigs certainly 
got the best or rather the worst of his satire heaped upon them- 
selves ; Napoleon with his projected invasion and Charles James Fox 
as welcoming it were favourite subjects of his pen. It is surprising 
that the artist escaped being indicted for libel, but the town and the 
Court itself, with the possible exception of Queen Charlotte, seem only 
to have laughed and enjoyed their own presentments. 

Artistically speaking Gillray's work has little value, but historic- 
ally a good deal. In the first place, the artist depicts, though with 
a good deal more than the lawful exaggeration of satire, the coarseness 
and the ' hard-living ' habits of a vigorous but not too refined society ; 
and, in the second place, in common with his contemporaries Rowland- 
son, a far greater artist but a less fierce satirist than himself, and 
Bunbury, an amateur of real power and humour who avoided political 
subjects and personality, he forms the link between Hogarth and 
the Cruikshanks ; and the Cruikshanks again handed on the torch of 
satirical and humorous portraiture to the Doyles, father and son, and 
through them to Leech and the Punch of our own days. 

But Hogarth was never coarse for coarseness' sake, and was 
never vulgar, while Gillray and Rowlandson were both. Gillray, 
Rowlandson, and the elder Cruikshank were all heavy drinkers, and 
Gillray in particular drank himself into the state of imbecility in which 
he passed the last four years of his life. 



experimental chemist, was the son of Robert Davy, a wood-carver 
of good yeoman family, originally from Norfolk, but settled for some 
time in Cornwall, and of Grace Millett. He was probably born at 
Penzance. His father was a clever, lax fellow, who died young, 
leaving his wife and children very poor. His admirable mother, to 
whom Humphry was tenderly attached, opened a milliner's shop and 
brought up her children well. Humphry got his schooling at the 
Grammar Schools of Penzance and Truro, and was as idle as he pleased, 
but he learned a good deal of Latin, showed facility in English verse, 
and acquired a great love for scientific experiments. Soon after his 
father's death, in his seventeenth year, he was apprenticed to a surgeon 
in Penzance. He began to study moral philosophy with great vigour 
at the same age, natural philosophy a year or two later ; Lavoisier's 
Elements was his first text-book. He was early patronized by Mr. 
Davies Gilbert, who eventually succeeded him as President of the 
Royal Society ; then by the ingenious but unlucky Dr. Beddoes, who 
got his indentures cancelled and gave him a post at his ' Pneumatic 
Institution ' at Bristol. It was here that Davy made the acquaintance 
of Coleridge and Southey (1798-9) and of John Lambton, afterwards 
Earl of Durham. He published in his twenty-first year his researches- 
or rather conjectures on Heat and Light. Next, he made experiments 
in the inhalation of nitrous oxide, which for a time injured his health. 
In 1801 he accepted the post of Assistant-Lecturer in Chemistry at 
the newly established ' Royal Institution ' in Albemarle Street, 
London. This Society, it must be remembered, was founded with 
the design not only of making scientific experiments, but also of 
diffusing scientific knowledge for the benefit of society at large, and 
especially for the benefit of the industrial classes. An amusing 

From the portrait after Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 15 ^ 


caricature of Gillray's represents the administration at the Institution 
of ' laughing-gas ' to a gentleman, with Davy as assistant. The 
young man's lectures proved an immediate success and attracted 
large audiences. He became Professor of Chemistry at the Institution, 
and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1803. No doubt his 
head was somewhat turned by the flattery that he received from 
society, and especially from fine ladies ; though of small stature, 
with a diminutive head, he possessed great powers of attraction, and 
one of his admirers said that his eyes ' seemed made for something 
better than .gazing into crucibles '. But though he gave himself 
freely to all the distractions of society he never neglected Science, 
and for twelve successive years he passed from subject to subject, 
both practical and theoretical, in his wonderful Lectures. This was 
in truth both his strength and his weakness ; he had none of the 
patience of Newton or Faraday, and he craved too much for early 
results. Too readily he had taken all scientific knowledge to be his 
province, and everything with him was hasty, perhaps somewhat 
untidy. It is said that when he wished to erase a line he would dip 
his finger in the inkpot for the purpose, and he kept all his apparatus 
in such a state of mess as occasionally to vitiate his own experiments. 
But he possessed immense treibcnde Kraft, power of setting others to 
work, power of generalization. The relation of chemistry to electricity, 
the application of chemistry to painting, to tanning, to agriculture, 
to the analysis of metals and gases, to the search for new elements 
such things he took in his stride. He not only discovered chlorine 
to be an element, but discovered its practical uses. He was not the 
discoverer of iodine, but was the first to harness it for the service of 
man. For his miners' safety-lamp, which saved the lives of untold 
numbers of coal-winners, he refused all remuneration, and refused to 
take out a patent which might well have brought him a considerable 
fortune. He was knighted in 1812, and married in the same year 
a rich and fashionable wife, who ill-requited his ardent affection for 
her. He had already become the patron of Faraday (whom some 


people called his own ' greatest discovery '), and took the young man 
to the Continent with him on a journey, for which Napoleon accorded 
him a special permit, in 1813. Faraday always looked up to Davy 
as the greatest of mankind, but suffered much from the tyranny of 
Lady Davy, who treated him as a menial. In Paris they were received 
with open arms by Ampere, Guyton de Morveau, Cuvier, Humboldt, 
Gay-Lussac, and Berthollet, but Davy's manners towards these rivals 
are said not to have been pleasing. All the laboratories of France 
and Italy were thrown open to him for his experiments, which he 
conducted at Montpellier, Florence, Rome, and Naples. He visited 
Volta, the great electrician, at Milan. He conducted researches into 
the substances of the colours of the ancient paintings at Pompeii. 
In 1818 he was made a baronet, and visited Herculaneum with a view 
to attempt the unrolling and deciphering of the papyri discovered 
there ; in this he was unsuccessful. He became President of the 
Royal Society, in succession to Banks, in 1820, but he lacked the 
tact and commanding good manners of his famous predecessor ; nor 
was his own Society, the Royal Institution, quite in favour with the 
Fellows of the more illustrious body. He devoted himself at this 
time largely to Electro-magnetic research. His last practical work 
was an unsuccessful attempt to discover a remedy for the decay of 
copper-sheathing on ships' bottoms, 1823-5. His health began to 
give way in 1826 ; he went to Italy and died at Geneva, where he is 
buried, in 1829. 

Davy was in fact a marvel of versatility ; his later as well as 
his earlier friends, including Scott, believed that he might have been 
a great poet, and he was egotistic enough to agree with them. But 
with all his egotism, irascibility, and occasional want of tact, there 
were few societies which he could not charm and in which he did not 
instantly obtain a lead. He was an ardent fly-fisher, and dreamed of 
emulating the renown of Izaak Walton when he wrote in his old age 
his Salmonia and his Consolations in Travel, or the Last Days of a. 
Philosopher. Herein he was signally unsuccessful. 



inventor and man of science, was the son of James Watt, merchant, 
bailie, and elder of Greenock, who had also some skill as a maker of 
mathematical instruments. His mother was Agnes Muirhead, of 
Lachop. He was excessively delicate in his youth, and, although he 
lived to a great age, was never in enjoyment of good health. Every 
one knows the story of his sitting as a boy in an abstracted mood 
before the fire, lifting and replacing the lid of the kettle and pondering 
upon the force of steam ; and we are too apt to forget that not only was 
Watt the pioneer in the application of the expansive power of steam, 
but that he shared with Priestly, if he did not anticipate Priestly, 
in the discovery that water is a compound of two elements ; that he 
was the inventor of the copying press and of systematic records of 
the phenomena of weather ; that he could build an organ as well as 
a steam-engine ; and that he was a very good scholar in several 
languages, a Fellow of the Royal Society, the friend of Lavoisier and 
Berthollet, and a corresponding member of the Institute of France. 
His one great discovery, that of condensation in a vessel separate 
from the steam-cylinder itself, has eclipsed all others, and even obliter- 
ated nearly all the records of his learned and well-spent life. This is 
not wholly without justice, for it is owing to this one discovery of 
Watt's that engines worked by steam have been able to revolutionize 
the system of traction and carriage throughout the world. 

Watt was educated at the Greenock burgh school, and began 
work, first in London then at Glasgow, as a mathematical instrument 
maker in 1755-6. In 1764, when exercising this craft in the employ- 
ment of the University, he was given one of Newcomen's steam- 
engines to repair, and it was on this corpus vile that he made his first 
experiments. It was not, however, until he entered into partnership 
with Mr. Roebuck, of the Carron ironworks, that he was able to take 


out in 1769 a patent for his improvements. This patent was several 
times infringed in after years, and needed costly litigation to vin- 
dicate : but when, after the failure of Mr. Roebuck, a partnership 
was established between Watt and Matthew Boulton, of the Soho 
Works Birmingham, 1775-1800, the manufacture of steam-engines 
went on apace. Watt took up his residence near Birmingham, and 
spent the rest of his life there. One of the first great uses to which 
his engines were applied was the pumping of water out of mines, 
then as now continually liable to be flooded from underground springs ; 
all his life Watt was busy at improving the internal mechanism of 
these children of his hands their cranks, their wheels, their pistons, 
their cylinders, their connecting rods, their indicators, and their 

Few partners in business have ever lived on such perfectly har- 
monious and affectionate terms as Matthew Boulton and James Watt ; 
when they retired from active shares in their business their interests 
passed to their sons, who continued to live and work together upon 
the same happy lines for a whole generation. 

In private life Watt was the most gentle and charming of com- 
panions. Scott, in a memorable passage in the introduction to 
The Monastery, records a meeting with him (in 1817) in his extreme 
old age : ' This potent commander of the elements, this abridger of 
time and space, was not only the most profound man of science, the 
most successful combiner of powers, and calculator of numbers, not 
only one of the most generally well-informed, but also one of the best 
and kindest of human beings. . . . He had his attention alive to every 
one's question, his information at every one's command ; his talents 
and fancy overflowed on every subject.' Scott found that Watt, in 
the most critical coterie of Edinburgh society, could hold his own 
with each specialist on the specialist's own subject, with the philologist 
on the origin of the alphabet, with the critic on belles-lettres, with the 
historian of Scotland on Claver'se and Burley, and finally that he 
was ' as shameless and obstinate a peruser of novels as if he had been 














S " 


race p. 158 


a very milliner's apprentice of eighteen '. Jeffrey, a critic far more 
exacting than Scott, says very much the same, and adds to the subjects 
of which Watt had a curious knowledge German metaphysics, medicine, 
architecture, music, and law ; he speaks not only of his astonishing 
memory, but of his power of digesting and arranging the information 
he received, and of extracting from it ' by a kind of intellectual alchemy ' 
all that was worthy of attention. 



inventor, son of a colliery fireman, was bred to his father's occupation, 
and only learned to read and write when he was almost grown up ; 
but he very early displayed mechanical tastes and skill, especially 
in the handling of the stationary steam-engines, by which coal-pits 
were then worked. He became engineer to a colliery at Killingworth 
in 1812. After experiments quite independent of those of Humphry 
Davy, but at almost the same time, that is to say just at the close 
of the Great War, Stephenson brought out his first invention, a safety- 
lamp for use in coal-mines. About the same time he took out a patent 
for traction by a moving steam-engine or ' locomotive '. The idea of 
such traction had long been in men's minds, but as yet only for use 
upon the roads ; and here its value was lessened by the gradients 
inseparable from roads ; Stephenson perceived that special, and 
level, roads would have to be constructed to carry his engines of 
traction. Acts of Parliament were passed in 1821 and 1823 for the 
construction of such a road, furnished with iron rails, between the 
towns of Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees ; and Stephenson estab- 
lished at Newcastle a workshop for the building of engines to draw 
trucks upon these rails : the experiments were successful and the line 
was opened in 1825. The railroad from Liverpool to Manchester, 


for which a Company was formed in 1824, was the next undertaking ; 
and Stephenson's real greatness may be realized when we bear in mind 
that not only the construction of the locomotive power, but the creation 
of the road itself, which had to pass over the quaking bog of Chat 
Moss, were mainly of his conception. Due to him also was the prefer- 
ence given to moving engines over stationary ones. And it was all 
done in the teeth of much opposition, both from rival experts and 
from those interests which were threatened by the daring innovation. 
Stephenson had, moreover, several competitors to contend with, even 
when it was decided to give locomotive-traction a trial on the new 
line. This trial took place in 1829, and Stephenson's ' Rocket ' was 
accepted as the only one which satisfied the conditions thought neces- 
sary by the managers of the railroad Company. 

The discovery was not one of those which are long in making 
their way in the world ; it was at once acknowledged to be the herald 
of a revolution in commerce. The Liverpool and Manchester line 
was ' opened ' by the Duke of Wellington in September 1830. The 
country was soon covered with a network of railways, and Stephenson 
was pioneer or consulting engineer to most of them. He was a good 
man, brave and modest, but with a firm conviction of the orthodoxy 
and ultimate triumph of his own ideas ; he refused to speculate or 
gamble, as most of his contemporaries gambled, in the new invention. 
He was three times married, and left, by his first wife, one son, who 
shared all the excitements and the trials of his father's early career, 
became his right hand in the Newcastle engine-building works, built 
the first railway that was brought to London (from Birmingham), and 
many others in other places and countries. 



naturalist, son of William Banks, of Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire, 
was heir to an ample fortune and estate. He is among the few persons 
who have migrated from Harrow to Eton ; he entered Christ Church 
in 1760, already an ardent but self-taught botanist. Natural Science 
was not much patronized by the authorities of the University in 
those days, and it is characteristic of Banks's fierce energy that, when 
an undergraduate, he went to Cambridge and fetched back with him 
a teacher of botany to Oxford. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society 
at the age of twenty-three, and President from 1778 till his death. 
His zeal for collection of specimens in strange lands is the distinctive 
mark of his early career ; he visited Newfoundland in 1766, and 
sailed in Cook's voyage in the Endeavour in 1768-71, the life and soul 
of that wonderful party, some of whose expenses he had borne, all 
whose hardships he shared and by his practical good sense often 
mitigated ; with him was his friend Dr. Solander, who had sat at the 
feet of Linnaeus and had now become Banks's inseparable companion. 
Banks intended to accompany Cook upon his second voyage, but 
there was no room for him ; he and Solander thereon visited Iceland 
in 1772 ; he was perhaps the last intelligent traveller to see that 
country before the great eruption of Skapta Jokull desolated it (1783). 
Banks remained, to the end of his life, a most indefatigable collector 
of natural objects and investigator of the problems of natural history, 
a most generous and stimulating friend also to other researches in the 
same fields ; but he published little on his own account. He was 
a great friend of George III, who gave him a baronetcy, and the 
gardens at Kew were the result of their friendship. As President of 
the Royal Society he was of a somewhat autocratic temper ; he 
recalled erring secretaries to their duties, and so galvanized some of 
the ' sleepy brigade ' that there was a small secession in 1784. 

H. P. IV M 



Doctor of Medicine, the discoverer of inoculation by vaccine, was the 
son of a Gloucestershire clergyman. He was trained for his pro- 
fession in London, where he was a pupil and became a life-long friend 
of the great John Hunter. From Hunter he learned to make a con- 
stant study of botany, geology, and zoology. In 1773 he set up in 
practice in his native town of Berkeley ; he became a Fellow of the 
Royal Society in 1788. Inoculation with the actual virus of small-pox 
as a preventive of the disease itself had been brought from the East 
by Mary Wortley Montagu early in the eighteenth century ; it had 
obtained little credit, partly from religious scruples, but still was not 
uncommon. Jenner observed the common disease called ' cow-pox', 
and observed also that those persons much employed about cow- 
byres did not take the small-pox itself. He therefore experimented 
on living subjects, inoculating them first with cow- and then with 
small-pox virus ; his conjecture proved right, and the mild disease 
destroyed the fell one. This discovery was published to the world 
in 1798, and, after much discussion and some opposition, Jenner 
established an institute for the supply of cow-lymph, and got large 
grants of money, both for himself and to further the spread of the 
practice, from Parliament. He might have made an enormous 
fortune by keeping the secret of his discovery, but he preferred to 
give it to the world, and was rewarded, not only with substantial 
(but not immense) gifts, but also with the gratitude of his contem- 
poraries all over the world, and with undying fame after his death. 
He was a man of most affectionate nature and great personal charm. 
Though at one time he set up practice in London he soon left it, and 
resided principally in Gloucestershire, always busy with the spread 
of his discovery, and with subjects depending thereon, till his death. 

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Face p. 162 



theologian and pioneer in natural science, was the son of a Yorkshire 
clothier, a person of considerable erudition and originality. He came 
of Dissenting parentage, and was by training and natural bent destined 
to be a Dissenting minister of some sort. Without much regular 
schooling he acquired a good knowledge of Latin, some Greek, and 
much Hebrew, was able to correspond in French, German, and Italian, 
and knew something of Arabic. It is startling to realize, after this, 
that he also displayed an early bent towards several forms of natural 
science, especially to experiments in chemistry, heat, and light ; 
and it is the success of his discoveries in these paths (which he always 
regarded as a irdpepyov) that constitutes his real title to fame. He 
believed his theological studies to be of the greater value both to 
himself and the world. In truth his progressive steps, both in theology 
and science, moved upon parallel lines, and were conditioned by his 
restless temperament and lack of patience. In the former he moved 
through numerous phases of religious thought, from pure Calvinism 
to Unitarianism, and between these two he might have been called 
at different times an Arminian, a Determinist, an Arian, a Socinian, 
a Materialist ; indeed, he preached and received calls to officiate in 
the chapels of very many various denominations, and it is greatly to 
his credit that, after such religious experiences, he seems entirely to 
have lacked the odium (heologicum, and even to have advocated the 
toleration of Roman Catholics. In the path of Science his fame rests 
upon his somewhat accidental discovery of oxygen as one of the 
component parts of air, a discovery of which he did not realize the 
full value. But he also discovered some five or six other gases, and 
the experimental methods of which he made use in his chemical 



researches have been used by all great chemists since his days. He 
was also to some extent a pioneer of electrical science, anticipating, 
but seldom perfecting or utilizing, many ideas which only became 
part of the equipment of men of science in much later times. He 
wrote much upon his discoveries before he had time to test their 
worth or apply them to facts. He also projected several great 
' Histories ' of various branches of science. The fact is that his 
own training had been too discursive, both in theology and science ; 
his keen mind scented ideas from afar, and he would start upon 
various quests with imperfect weapons and without a preliminary 
study of the terrain. 

He was a man of a pleasant nature and had many friends in 
Great Britain, France, and America : Shelburne, in whose house he 
resided for a time as librarian, Banks, Burke, Franklin, Toplady, 
Price, Wedgwood. He received the degree of LL.D. at Edinburgh 
in 1764, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society two years later. 
It was while he resided at Birmingham that the celebrated riot took 
place, in which a mob, angry because Priestley and his Radical friends 
got up a dinner on July 14, 1791, to celebrate the anniversary of the 
fall of the Bastille, sacked his house and destroyed most of his library 
and scientific apparatus. Priestley was not himself present at the 
dinner, and had some difficulty in escaping from the rioters, four of 
whom were afterwards executed for their crime. He received from 
the Government compensation, but perhaps not sufficient compensa- 
tion, for his loss. It was no doubt as much for his political sym- 
pathies as for his scientific attainments that he was, together with 
other men of science and advanced politicians, declared by the French 
Convention in 1792 to be a ' citizen of France ' and elected a member 
of that remarkable Assembly. The latter honour he had the good 
sense to decline. In 1794 he emigrated to America, where he found 
society little to his taste ; he was intending to return to Europe 
(preferably to France), when in 1801 he was seized with an illness 
from which he never wholly recovered. The list of his published 


From the pastel portrait by Mrs. Sharpies 

in the National Portrait Gallery 


From a drawing by George Dance, R.A., in the 
National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Lemuel Francis Abbott 

in the National Portrait Gallery 


From the whole-length portrait by Samuel Lane 
belonging to the Institution of Civil Engineers 

Face />. 1 6+ 


works, in Theology, Philology, History, Political and Moral Science, 
fills nearly six columns in the Dictionary of National Biography ; 
that of his scientific works fills other two columns. Most of them are 
now forgotten. 



engineer, the son of an East Lothian farmer, was educated at the 
burgh school at Dunbar and at Edinburgh University. He worked 
as a millwright, first under Meikle, the inventor of the threshing- 
machine, and then under Boulton and Watt in England. In 1791 he 
set up in business for himself as an engineer in London, and became 
known as a follower of Brindley and Telford in the construction of 
canals ; the only tunnel on the Kennet and Avon waterway bears his 
name over its eastern entrance. He also canalized the Lower Ouse, 
and this led to the commencement of that drainage of the Fens, which 
was completed by Rennie's son Sir John, and led to the disappearance 
from the world of the most beautiful of butterflies. The elder Rennie 
was also a great builder of bridges and docks ; in London he designed 
the three great bridges of Waterloo, Southwark, and London Bridge, 
though the last was not completed in his lifetime. The invention of 
the steam-dredger, and the building of the breakwater at Plymouth, 
are to be ascribed to him. It is interesting to see that among his 
projects was that of a ship-canal from London to Portsmouth (1807), 
which was to pass by the valleys of the Wey and Arun ; it was to be 
a hundred yards wide and twenty-four feet deep, and to be capable of 
carrying the largest ships then afloat ; the cost was estimated at seven 
millions, and this was deemed prohibitive. The melancholy fragment 
of the Wey and Arun Canal is now the only trace of this noble project. 
In private life Rennie was modest, simple, and severely truthful, and 
his only extravagance was a passion for collecting old books. 



astronomer, was a German by birth and a musician by training. 
He came to England in very poor circumstances in 1757, and got 
a post as an organist at Bath nine years later. Here he earned some 
money as a teacher of music, and spent it all on the construction of 
telescopes made with his own hands. As success came to him he 
went on to the construction of larger and larger instruments, at first 
wholly for his own use ; and the result was his discovery of the ' new ' 
planet Uranus in 1781. He was therefore elected a Fellow of the 
Royal Society. He owed much to the continual and highly enlightened 
patronage of George III, who gave him the post of Astronomer Royal. 
In 1786, after several shifts of residence, he settled at Slough, where 
he spent his last thirty-six years in ' mapping the heavens ' and 
building telescopes, by the sale of which he realized a considerable 
fortune. His discoveries of distant stars were very numerous, and 
the chart of the ' Celestial Globe ', as we now have it, is very largely 
the work of William Herschel, and that of his equally famous 
son, Sir John. Besides map-making, Herschel devoted himself to 
examining the substance, light, and colour of the stars ; not all the 
bold theories which he advanced have held their ground, but as 
a pioneer he had no equal. He was knighted in 1816. He was a man 
of most lovable character and happy disposition, and had a large 
circle of warm friends, among whom perhaps the best known is 
Dr. Burney, the musician. 



engineer, was the son of an Eskdale shepherd, and was bred to be 
a mason. The farm on which his father worked bore the name of 
' Glendinning ', afterwards immortal in romance. He got constant 
employment in his craft in the building of the New Town of Edinburgh, 
and migrated to England in 1782. He was a foreman-mason in the 
Dockyard at Portsmouth, and next was taken into the employment 
of a Dumfriesshire gentleman, who owned property at Shrewsbury. 
Then, after acting as County Surveyor of Works in Shropshire, he 
was made engineer of the projected Ellesmere Canal. Though he here 
merely followed the lines already laid down for aqueducts, locks, and 
levels by James Brindley, he greatly improved upon them, substituting 
cast iron for puddled clay in the bed of the waterways in his aqueducts. 
Iron was Telford's idol, and he was the builder of the first set of those 
cast iron bridges which now everywhere disfigure the United Kingdom ; 
he even produced a scheme for rebuilding London Bridge with a single 
span of iron. With his scheme for the Caledonian Canal, begun in 
1804, it is more possible to sympathize, especially as it was accom- 
panied by an extensive system of bridge-building and road-making, 
with well-engineered gradients, in many parts of the Highlands ; 
Wade's roads of 1725-8 were indeed already quite inadequate. Telford 
was equally great at coast-works, and was employed to build harbours 
at Leith, Aberdeen, and Wick. In his road-building enterprises he 
was as active in England and Wales as in Scotland, and it was his 
great road through Shrewsbury to the Menai Strait which led him 
to the building of the famous suspension bridge which bears his name ; 
this was completed in 1825. Abroad he is known as the constructor 
of the great Stockholm-Gothenburg Canal, which passes across Sweden, 
through the Wener and Wetter Lakes. Telford lived just into the 


period of railway surveys, but as he was warmly attached to the 
safer, if slower, method of transit by canal, he refused to be mixed 
up in the new enterprises. He was a man of great personal worth 
and charm, devoted to such good friends as Southey and Campbell, 
devoted also to his profession, and foreseeing all the development of 
wealth of which he was the harbinger, yet quite indifferent to his own 
profit ; and he died unmarried, a comparatively poor man. 



statesman, son of George Canning, a younger son of an old Irish 
family, and of Mary Anne Costello, was born in London. His father 
died young, and his mother went upon the stage and made two 
successive imprudent marriages. The boy was brought up at the 
expense of his uncle, Stratford Canning, a Whig banker in London, who 
sent him to Eton, where he displayed scholarship and wit, and earned 
literary fame. At Christ Church he won the Latin Verse prize and 
became the lifelong friend of Robert Jenkinson, afterwards the second 
Lord Liverpool. He then entered at Lincoln's Inn, and was probably 
intending to seek a seat in Parliament as a follower of Fox when he 
suddenly changed his opinions at the end of 1792 and declared himself 
for Pitt. Lord Holland told Greville in 1834 that he had been at that 
time (1792) one of Canning's most intimate friends, and that Canning 
was then ' a great Jacobin, much more so than he was himself ' ; 
that Canning had always hated the aristocracy, a hatred which, says 
Greville, ' they certainly returned with interest '. But the truth is 
that the year 1792 was one in which any reasonable Whig would 
readily change his opinions, and there is no reason to doubt the 
sincerity of Canning's conversion. From that hour, however, some 


From the portrait begun by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., and finished by Richard Evans 

in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 168 


distrust of the young man as an ' adventurer ' took root, and his 
subsequent career did too little to dispel it. It was not that Canning 
ever again changed his opinions or paltered with them for power ; 
on the contrary, he remained a close follower of Pitt (except upon the 
point of Parliamentary Reform, to which he was always opposed, 
and which Pitt himself now thought inexpedient), a free trader and 
a pro-Catholic all his life ; that is to say, he was a sound Tory of the 
new school of Pitt. It was rather impatience for self-advancement 
and want of loyalty to colleagues of which he was, perhaps rightly, 
accused. On a man of such ambition this was fearfully visited by 
his exclusion from office in the last critical years of the Napoleonic 

He became one of the ablest, if not the most judicious, of Pitt's 
colleagues, as Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, in 1796. Pitt 
delighted in his wit, his scholarship, his readiness in debate, and once 
even contributed to the brilliant political magazine the Anti- Jacobin, 
by which in 1797^8 Canning, Ellis, Frere, and Wellesley gave the 
Radicals a taste of what satire could be and got the laugh entirely 
on their side. A fortunate marriage with an heiress in 1800 made 
Canning independent for life, and gave him much domestic happiness ; 
his wit and his warm affection also endeared him to that large circle 
of friends whose letters have been so happily brought together by the 
late Captain Bagot. In literature, if not an adherent of the Romantics, 
some of whom indeed were pilloried in the Anti- Jacobin, he admired 
Scott above all men, and enjoyed his friendship to the end of his life ; 
he was one of the projectors of the Quarterly Review in 1808. Mean- 
while in politics he went out of office with Pitt in 1801, and let fly the 
shafts of his wit against Addington, often to Pitt's great discomfiture. 
In the latter's second Ministry, Canning became Treasurer of the 
Navy, 1804 ; he was out during the Coalition of 1806, but became 
Foreign Secretary under Portland in 1807-9. ^ n this capacity he 
planned the seizure of the Danish fleet, the saving of the Portuguese 
fleet from the French, and the Orders in Council, and assented to the 


commencement of the Peninsular War. But he both despised and 
was jealous of his own colleague Castlereagh, head of the War Office, 
and like himself the pupil and political heir of Pitt ; and he was so 
anxious that no blame should attach to himself for any failures of 
the Government that he was ready to sacrifice the reputation of any 
subordinates or any colleagues, even that of Sir John Moore after 
Corunna. He was the warm friend of the Marquis Wellesley, and 
was most anxious to attach the Wellesley brothers to himself and to 
draw them away from Castlereagh. He had not approved of, but he 
had not openly dissented from, the Walcheren expedition, for the 
failure of which Castlereagh must bear a fair share. Nothing can 
possibly excuse the intrigue that Canning then set on foot in the 
Cabinet against his colleague, who was kept for months in ignorance 
that his removal was being planned, and who, when he discovered 
the intrigue, challenged Canning to the famous duel which led to the 
resignation of them both. It looks very much as if Canning's action 
had been prompted by the knowledge that Portland was failing in 
health, and that either himself or Castlereagh would probably be his 
successor. When Perceval succeeded Portland, Canning refused to 
serve under him, and did his best to foment the impatience and 
jealousy of his friend Wellesley, who had taken the Foreign Office. 
When Liverpool came in and offered Canning that post, but rightly 
insisted that Castlereagh must lead the House of Commons, jealousy 
again prevented Canning's acceptance. Thus he stood aside during 
the triumphant conclusion of the war, and only the favour of his old 
friend Liverpool procured him the brilliant post of Ambassador- 
Extraordinary at Lisbon to welcome the restored monarch of Portugal, 
who after all preferred to remain in the peaceful seclusion of Brazil. 
After Waterloo, Canning, who had recently been spending much time 
abroad, accepted the office of President of the India Board, 1816, 
and continued to support Liverpool's Government until the Queen's 
trial, 1820. From some motive, now not easily discoverable, perhaps 
from mere lack of taste, he had allowed himself to be to some extent 


a friend of the unpleasant Caroline. The result was that when, after 
her death, he was willing again to join the Government, George IV 
was not so willing to have him as a Minister. In 1822 he had just 
accepted the Governor-Generalship of India, a post hereafter to be 
held illustriously by his nobler son Charles ; but on Castlereagh's 
death Liverpool felt strong enough to force Canning upon the King as 
Foreign Secretary. 

Much has been made, especially by those Whig historians who 
have been anxious to discredit Castlereagh, of the startling change 
that Canning inaugurated in British policy during his five years' 
tenure of this office, 1822-7 ' tmt i truth and in fact he was merely 
building upon the foundations that Castlereagh had laid. Castlereagh 
did not make sparkling phrases about himself, but the very words 
that Canning used about having ' called the New World into existence 
to redress the balance of the Old ' occur in stiff and ungainly prose 
in a dispatch of Castlereagh's of 1822, in connexion with the necessity 
of recognizing the independence of the revolted Spanish-American 
colonies. Just the same principles, for and against intervention in 
the concerns of foreign States, were followed and lucidly expounded 
by the orator Canning as had been followed without exposition by 
the dumb statesman Castlereagh ; the attitude of each to the policy 
of the ' Holy Alliance ' was one of watchful mistrust. It suited 
Canning to pose as having had nothing to do with the settlement 
of the map of Europe in 1815, but it is greatly to his credit that 
in practice he did nothing to upset that settlement. Perhaps 
Castlereagh, who was the last man to be under illusions, might have 
displayed less interest than Canning displayed in the insurgent national 
movement of Greece, but it is difficult to believe that he would have 
acted very differently from Canning towards Russia and Turkey, 
though it is probable that any action he might have taken would have 
been more successful. 

When in 1827 Liverpool, after fifteen years of admirably firm, 
wise, and tactful government, for which history has never given him 


credit, was struck down by illness, George IV was confronted with 
the choice between Canning with Catholic Emancipation, or Wellington 
and Peel with the ' Protestant Ascendancy '. It is difficult, con- 
sidering the cause at stake, not to give one's sympathy without reserve 
to Canning. Here as elsewhere his principles were in the right, but 
now as at other times his method of getting himself into the position 
to carry out these principles exposed him to well-merited censure. 
The story is still obscure, but it looks very much as if Canning simply 
tricked the King into making him Premier against his, the King's, 
real will. Greville's version (which came from Melbourne) was that 
' Canning said to the King : " Sir, your father broke the domination 
of the Whigs ; I hope your Majesty will not endure that of the Tories " 
[i.e. Peel and Wellington]. " No," said the King, " I'll be damned 
if I do," and he made him Minister.' But the result was that the Duke, 
Peel, and their anti-Catholic friends resigned, and that Canning's own 
Cabinet was obliged to include a few of the milder Whigs, as well as 
some sound free-traders from both parties. Indeed it seems probable 
that, even before he had any communication with the King, perhaps 
even before Liverpool's illness, Canning had been privately sounding 
the Whigs as to their possible assistance, and that this had come to 
the ears of the Duke of Wellington, who, not unnaturally, felt that no 
confidence could be placed in a man who would intrigue thus. Little 
space or scope, one hundred and twenty days only, were allowed the 
statesman to prove his mettle ; he had caught a bad cold at the Duke 
of York's funeral in January, he was ill during his whole tenure of the 
new office, and he died in August. 

Canning lacked the serene temper which had made Pitt and 
Castlereagh able to bear storms far worse than any he had ever to face. 
Liverpool, who nevertheless loved him, used to complain of his fearful 
sensitiveness and irritability when attacked in the newspapers. His 
industry was immense, and he possessed, beyond question, a mind to 
conceive and a heart to dare lightning strokes of policy, many of 
which were extremely successful ; as a speaker he was always thinking 


too much of effect, especially of the effect the speech would have upon 
his own reputation, and too little of convincing his hearers, or telling 
the truth to the world. Not being quite a gentleman he occasionally 
committed in his speeches appalling faults of taste, and in his actions 
unpardonable breaches of honour. 



eldest son of Charles Jenkinson, first Earl (who was descended from 
the great sixteenth-century explorer Anthony Jenkinson), and of 
Amelia Watts, was educated at the Charterhouse and at Christ Church. 
His father had entered Parliament in 1761, and been a steady sup- 
porter of North, and after North of Pitt, who received much advice 
from him on all questions of commerce and colonies, made him a peer 
as Lord Hawkesbury in 1786, and Earl of Liverpool ten years later. 
The son was an intimate friend of Canning at College, and Canning 
loved to make good-humoured fun both of him and with him in songs 
and political squibs. Once, it is believed, Canning put him under the 
College pump. He entered Parliament in 1790, and visited the camp 
of the Allies at Coblentz two years later. His first office was a seat 
on the India Board. He was a strong supporter of the war, and in 
1794 committed the mistake, afterwards thrown in his teeth as ' Jenky's 
march ', of expecting an immediate march on Paris. Gillray carica- 
tured him in 1796 as tied up together with Canning to the lanterne 
by the Whigs of Brooks's Club when the French invasion should come. 
From 1796 he was known as Lord Hawkesbury, though he did not 
get his own peerage by that title till 1803. He was an anti-Catholic, 
and so did not resign with Pitt and Canning, but with Pitt's full 


approval became Addington's Foreign Secretary in 1801, and did all 
he could to prevent a rupture between his new and his former leader. 
It was owing to his strong conviction that the Peace of Amiens would 
not last that the Government decided to retain the island of Malta, 
which was the casus belli of 1803. His desire for conciliation now 
drew down on him the wrath of Canning, whose behaviour in the 
matter cannot be commended. ' Jukes or Jawkes or Jinks ' is always 
the butt of Canning's most unfeeling satire in his letters to Sneyd at 
this time ; and the result was that when Pitt reconstructed his Govern- 
ment in 1804 there was some difficulty in bringing the two old friends 
to serve together. Hawkesbury behaved with perfect dignity, and 
seems only to have insisted on Canning's owning himself to have been 
in the wrong ; Pitt no doubt brought this about by indicating to 
Canning that if one of the two stayed out it would have to be Canning, 
not Hawkesbury. As Home Secretary in the new Government 
Hawkesbury had charge of the organization of the volunteers and of 
the defence of the coasts in the invasion scare, and did his job remark- 
ably well. It was his influence that finally brought Addington back 
into the Government in 1805. He succeeded Pitt as Warden of the 
Cinque Ports in 1806, and led the opposition to the ' Talents ' Ministry 
in 1806-7. He returned to the Home Office under Portland, and in 
1809 under Perceval succeeded Castlereagh at the War Office. It 
was in this capacity that he displayed his great administrative powers 
in feeding the Peninsular War. Wellington no doubt tried him 
hardly ; the great man had, as Mr. Fortescue says, ' his bad and 
fractious moments ' ; he kept urging the Ministers to ' strengthen 
their Government ' as if that were not the very thing Perceval and 
Liverpool were most anxious to do. But on the whole each recognized 
that the other was doing his best, Liverpool to supply troops and 
specie, Wellington to keep the French at bay. In 1812, on Perceval's 
death, Liverpool entered upon his fifteen-year-long tenure of the 
First Lordship of the Treasury. He sought by every possible means 
to ' strengthen ' his Ministry ; that is, he offered to include in it 


From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., at Windsor Castle 



Canning, Grey, Grenville, Moira, Wellesley all for one reason or 
another refused. Of really strong men, except his brave and patient 
self, Castlereagh alone was available, but Castlereagh was worth all 
the others put together. It was this purely Tory Ministry which 
brought the greatest war in history to a successful close, and left 
England arbiter of Europe. The Prince Regent rewarded his Prime 
Minister with the Garter ; Whig historians have rewarded him with 
a faint praise, ill cloaking a civil malice, of which the opening chapters 
of Miss Martineau's and Mr. Spencer Walpole's respective works on 
the Peace are a good example ; but even the worst of them have felt 
bound to admit the honourable purity of his private life, his con- 
ciliatory manners, and his immense industry and devotion to business. 

From the beginning of his Ministry Liverpool agreed to allow 
the Catholic question to be an open one. In 1812 his own opinion 
was undoubtedly anti-Catholic ; but long before the creation of the 
Catholic Association in Ireland, and thus long before Peel had even 
begun to waver, Liverpool had become convinced that some sort of 
concession was desirable ; he voted in 1824 in favour of giving the 
vote to Catholics in Great Britain. On the other hand, in 1825 he 
spoke strongly against Burdett's sweeping Catholic Relief Bill, which 
had been carried in the Commons. It was the same with his opinions 
on free trade in corn ; as on the religious question he had passed 
more and more under the influence of Canning, so on the economic 
question he began to imbibe the doctrines of Huskisson ; had he been 
granted another year of public life he intended to introduce a sub- 
stantial modification of the Corn Law of 1822. In foreign affairs he 
was the warm supporter of Canning's policy, which, it must always be 
remembered, was that of Castlereagh's last years. 

It was Liverpool who brought Canning back to the Foreign Office 
in 1822, and, after a very stormy interview, compelled George IV to 
accept the new Minister. In the maintenance of order against Radical 
agitators Liverpool was immovably firm ; this was especially the 
sphere of his old chief Addington (Lord Sidmouth), who was Home 


Secretary, but without Liverpool's support Sidmouth would have 
made a poor figure in the matter. At the same time, while suppressing 
sedition, Liverpool supported measures for the relief of the undoubted 
distress. On one extremely difficult question, that of Queen Caroline's 
divorce, he must be held to blame. He yielded to the King's wish 
for the introduction of a Bill, and then yielded to public opinion and 
the decreasing majority in Parliament, by withdrawing the Bill 
without due cause assigned. 

By 1826, though still four years short of sixty, Liverpool was 
intending to retire from power ; he was utterly worked out in his 
country's service. He used to say that, throughout his official life, 
he never looked upon the heap of letters upon his table without a pang 
of apprehension, and a reluctance to break the seals, for he always 
anticipated some bad news. His political enemies knew this temper 
well, and never spared him ; neither had they spared his master Pitt. 
Early in 1827 his health, which had been long impaired, suddenly gave 
way ; he had an apoplectic stroke, and he lingered paralysed, almost 
blinded, and often senseless, for nearly two years of death-in-life, 
until the end of 1828. 

Of few men who have wielded such power and possessed such 
influence, is so little known or remembered ; what is clear is his 
talent for conciliation, for keeping his Cabinet (full of men of divergent 
views and hot passions) substantially united and active, alike through 
the last three glorious years of war and the twelve dangerous and 
difficult years of peace. If Mr. Gladstone's opinion was true, that 
' England was never better governed than between 1822 and 1830 ', 
a large part of the credit must be due to the Prime Minister who held 
office during the first half of that period. 



was the eldest son of George III, and Queen Charlotte. ' There have 
been good and wise kings,' said Greville, ' but not many of them, and 
this I believe to be one of the worst of the kind. The littleness of his 
character prevents him displaying the dangerous faults that belong 
to great minds, but with vices and weaknesses of the lowest and most 
contemptible order it would be difficult to find a disposition more 
abundantly furnished.' 

This was written in the last year of George IV's life. It was 
quite a deliberate judgement, it does not stand alone in the famous 
Diary, and it was founded on close personal acquaintance ; the King 
had always been kind and civil to Greville, except in the matter of 
keeping him waiting, as he kept every one waiting, for an hour or 
two after the time appointed for an audience. But it takes no account 
of that side of George IV's history which is so difficult to explain 
the undoubted fascination which he exercised as a young man upon 
the brilliant circle of wits of whom he formed his Court. Fox, who 
could stand ' anything but fools ', was no toady, nor was Sheridan, 
and it is clear that both these had some genuine regard for George 
as Prince of Wales. Even as Prince Regent his captivating manners 
and clever conversation made a real impression upon such a manly 
character as Scott. Given this, given also some real taste for the 
finer kinds of light literature, some spasmodic and sentimental kind- 
ness of heart, which was never proof against self-interest, and we have 
said all that can be said for George. 

The rest is a record of the most heartless, tasteless, vulgar, almost 
insane extravagance carried on through the period of the greatest 
financial and economic distress of the country ; of reckless gambling, 
of boozing on champagne and cherry brandy, and of seeking relief 

H. P. IV N 


from the least physical pain in large doses of laudanum ; of a series 
of quarrels, all of his own making, with father, mother, wife, and 
daughter ; of a libertinism almost without example, and rendered 
the more odious by the fact that his mistresses often really loved him, 
and suffered more loss than that of money and character when he cast 
them off ; and of a well-earned reputation for telling lies and aban- 
doning his political friends and his social cronies as heartlessly as he 
abandoned his mistresses. As Regent he kept the first Privy Council 
over which he presided waiting for an hour and a half, and Lord 
Grenville wondered ' whether any one could persuade him to behave 
like a gentleman '. 

The best influence that was ever brought to bear upon him was 
that of his real wife, Maria Fitzherbert, to whom he was secretly 
married in his twenty-fourth year ; if any one could have reclaimed 
the man it would have been she. But when it suited the Prince to 
disavow his marriage he did so, and Fox sullied his own fame by 
doing it for him. His official wife, Caroline of Brunswick, whom in 
1795 he married only as one of the easiest ways of getting an increased 
allowance, was a woman more vulgar than, and perhaps as wicked as, 
himself, and he quarrelled with her at once. 

He had a fairly good education, Cyril Jackson being one of his 
tutors, and could learn very quickly, but before he was nineteen he 
' came upon the town ' and plunged into every kind of dissipation. 
Xo attempt need be made here to tabulate or classify the sums or 
the species of debts which he incurred, the number of times he got the 
nation to pay them, or the ' arrangements ' which he made with his 
creditors ; the figures used occasionally to run into hundreds of 
thousands, and he had no sooner got relief than he began to incur 
fresh obligations. His political association with the Whig party at 
his debut did not proceed from any natural liberalism of mind, but 
from vanity and desire to plague his father, for whose death or con- 
tinued insanity he always showed open and indecent anxiety. On 
each occasion, however, on which the Whigs hoped to profit by their 

From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 178 


sordid alliance with him, he disappointed them, notably in 1811 and 
1812, and it must be owned that on the last occasion, at least, they 
only got their deserts. 

When he came to the throne he made some efforts to regain 
popularity, in spite of the additional load of hatred which the Queen's 
trial had brought upon him, by his visits to Ireland and Scotland, 
1821, 1822 ; and on such occasions as these he could make himself 
extraordinarily good company. But from 1823 he practically shut 
himself up at Windsor or in the ' Cottage ' at Virginia Water, which 
he built for himself and his last sultana, Lady Conyngham. He had 
grown very fat, and had such a horror of being ridiculed for it that 
he concealed his movements as far as possible and hated being seen 
out of doors. In his last years he spent much of his time in bed, 
soaking himself with brandy and laudanum, gossiping with his valets, 
denouncing Catholic Emancipation (which had been one of his favourite 
causes when he was Prince), and talking about ' laying his head on 
the block ' before he would agree to it ; yet he, ' raving he would 
ne'er consent, consented '. He kept his rooms at such a temperature 
that few could bear to stay in them, and led his servants a cruel life. 
It was in these days that he amused his listeners by telling them, 
in the vein of Joseph Sedley, that he had fought at Waterloo ; but 
long before this he had pointed out to the Duke of Wellington a par- 
ticularly sheer combe on the downs behind Brighton ' where mortal 
horsemen ne'er might ride ', and said, ' When I was a young man 
I often charged down there at the head of my troop.' ' Very steep, 
Sir,' replied the Duke. 

He had a passion for clothes, the sums he spent upon them sound 
to us incredible, and, as his great-grandfather George II could remem- 
ber the minutest details of the pedigrees of the smallest German 
princes, so this King could remember the date, colour, and cut of any 
one of the thousands of suits which he had worn. 

N 2 



statesman, son of George Grenville and Elizabeth Wyndham, and 
cousin of William Pitt, was at Eton and Christ Church, and entered 
Parliament in 1782. He was, on the whole, the ablest and best of 
his family a family essentially difficult to get on with, mainly because 
it divided the human race into two categories, Grenvilles and non- 
Grenvilles. He was cursed with pride and a somewhat sullen temper, 
and he was far too much under the influence of his brother, the second 
Earl Temple, arch-Grenville and arch-Whig. He held minor office 
from 1782, and continued to act, in several posts, throughout Pitt's 
first eighteen years of ministry. Of these posts the all-important 
one was that of the Foreign Office, which he occupied from 1791 till 
1801. He had great qualifications for the post, for he was an excep- 
tionally good linguist as well as an eminent scholar. If, like his 
father, he knew little about mankind or how to manage them, unlike 
that father he was willing to confess and lament that ignorance. He 
was, however, cold and unsympathetic, and, it must be confessed, 
narrow in his views. The accession of the Portland section of the 
Whigs (who brought the really able Windham to Pitt's Cabinet in 
1794), great as the parliamentary worth of it was, had been to a certain 
extent a forced accession ; and Grenville's family tradition drew him 
to side in the Cabinet rather with them than with Pitt, whose closest 
colleague Dundas was distinctly repulsive to him. For the prosecu- 
tion of the war a outrance he was far more anxious than Pitt, and 
opposed all overtures for peace ; he even denounced the Peace of 
Amiens, when he had gone into opposition, and eagerly took up the 
task, in common with Fox and Grey, of badgering the poor blundering 
Addington when war broke out again in 1803. He tried to drive 


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Pitt to do the same, but, when Pitt had at last, in the interests of the 
nation, been compelled to sweep Addington away (1804), although 
Pitt made the widest offers to include every one of merit, Grenville 
declined to come in without Fox, whom the King had positively 
refused to include at any price. It is believed that Grenville would 
have yielded but for the imperious prohibition of the elder brother, 
to whom Pitt had only give a Marquisate and not, as he had hoped, 
a Dukedom. Then the tie between the cousins was snapped for 
good; ' I will teach that proud man,' said Pitt, in oft-quoted words, 
' that I can do without him, though I think it will cost me my life.' 
It did cost the country that priceless life. 

But Grenville wrapped himself in his Whig virtue and took the 
headship of the ' Ministry of All the Talents '. He was now closely 
lie with Charles Grey, Lord Howick (Earl Grey from 1806) ; hence- 
forth one speaks of ' Grenville and Grey ' as the united incarnate 
spirit of opposition. It was they who, after Fox's death, built, in 
Sheridan's phrase, ' a wall against which to run their own heads ' 
by presenting to King George the celebrated ' Cabinet Minute ' of 
1807, pledging themselves to go on offering him any advice they 
might think right on the Catholic question ; this Minute was in itself 
a valuable enunciation of a sound constitutional doctrine, but, offered 
to that King and at that crisis of history, a sheer blunder in tactics. 
The Ministry was at once dismissed. The probable truth is that 
neither Grenville nor Grey cared to hold office in such difficult circum- 
stances as those of 1807 ; opposition was their true sphere, and they 
knew it. At the same time the most honourable thing in Grenville's 
career is his long and staunch championship of the Catholic claims. 

The two friends had in 1809 another chance of joining the Ministry 
on the death of Portland, a third chance, at the special wish of the 
Regent, just before the death of Perceval, a fourth after that death 
in 1812. But no they would come in on no terms but their own ; 
what are we to say of men who refused to serve their country when 
Napoleon was preparing to start for Russia and Wellington had not 


yet won Salamanca ? What would not a true patriot have given 
for such a chance at such an hour ? Alas ! Canning also refused, 
and for reasons very similar to those of Grenville and Grey. These 
two friends, however, came at last to a difference of opinion ; in 1815 
Grenville was hot for destroying Napoleon, Grey for the making 
peaceful overtures to him ; and the old liaison was not renewed after 
the Peace, for Grenville, though always loyal to the Catholic cause 
and a free trader (as he had been since he and Pitt first studied Adam 
Smith as boy Ministers together), was hardy enough in 1819 to support 
and even urge stringent measures for the repression of sedition. So 
staunch for order had he now become that Liverpool asked him to 
join the Government, and, though refusing himself, he allowed some 
of his followers to do so. In 1823 he retired from public life to his 
trees and his library at Dropmore. He even disliked the Reform Bill, 
and so he has sometimes been called an inconsistent Whig. It was 
only too consistent with Whig principles that Grenville should hold 
for many years the lucrative sinecure of ' Auditor and Comptroller- 
General ' ; but that the Radical reformer Fox should in 1806 have to 
introduce a Bill to enable Grenville to continue to hold this office 
together with the First Lordship of the Treasury is a circumstance 
that can hardly fail to provoke a smile ; for the holder would be 
supposed in the one capacity to audit and control the accounts of the 
nation, in the expenditure of whose money he had in his other capacity 
the main voice. 



statesman, son of Sir Charles Grey afterwards first Earl, a gallant 
soldier of the Seven Years' War, the American War, and the Great 
War, of an old Northumbrian family, was at Eton and King's, and 
became a good classical scholar. He travelled, and then sat for his 
county in the House of Commons from 1786 to 1807. From the 
beginning to the end of his career he was a high-minded, honourable 
gentleman of unswerving devotion to somewhat advanced Whig 
views. He graduated in this school at the persecution of Hastings 
(1787) and the Regency debates (1788) ; he steadily criticized the 
war policy of Pitt, steadily raised, year after year, session after session, 
the flag of Parliamentary Reform ; he fought against the Union with 
Ireland. In short, up to 1806 he was a follower of Fox ; and on Fox's 
death became the truest leader of the old (Foxite) Whigs. He held 
the First Lordship of the Admiralty (being now Lord Howick) from 
January to September 1806, and after Fox's death the Foreign Office 
until the ' Ministry of All the Talents ' was driven from office in 
March 1807. He was as much responsible as Lord Grenville for the 
self-immolation of that Ministry by the Cabinet Minute of 1807, 
and was always an ardent pro-Catholic. He succeeded to his Earldom 
in November 1807, and thenceforth had a hard task to keep the 
extreme left of his party in order. At the same time he rejected all 
offers (and several were made) from the Tory Ministry and the Prince 
Regent unless he could come in upon his own terms. He even opposed 
the war of 1815 against Napoleon, and this led to his divergence, as 
it proved almost a final one, from Lord Grenville. His followers were 
thereby reduced to a small, but always a consistent, minority. Against 
every act of Liverpool, Sidmouth, and Castlereagh after the Peace 


Grey steadily protested, not from factious opposition but from genuine 
and unwavering political creed, and he made a lifelong enemy of 
George IV by his uncompromising opposition to the proposed Divorce 
Bill of 1820. He was already ageing when Canning took office ; it 
was extremely natural that a man of such character and antecedents 
should regard Canning as a charlatan, but, when so many moderate 
Whigs rallied to the support of a man who was a Liberal in foreign 
policy and known to be at heart a pro-Catholic, we can hardly acquit 
Grey of some factiousness in his consistent opposition to all so-called 
Tory Ministries. 

The probable explanation is that of Grey's great causes the one 
he had most at heart was the Reform of the House of Commons. 
Almost the ' best division ' the Reformers ever got in the House 
before the death of George IV had been that on Pitt's modest proposals 
of 1785, just before Grey began his political life. But with George IV's 
death Grey stepped forward like Odysseus in the twenty-second 
Odyssey to fight the last fight of his life with the prestige of forty 
years' devotion to the cause at his back. Athene (if one could fancy 
Divine Wisdom favouring Reform) could pour more than mortal 
grace upon his shoulders (for Grey was a very handsome man, both 
in youth and age), but she could not endow him with any very sur- 
prising amount of skill or firmness ; on the whole, she or some lesser 
goddess just managed to pull him through. On the defeat of Welling- 
ton in November 1830, William IV sent for the old statesman, and 
Grey accepted office, the Radical Brougham, whom he profoundly 
mistrusted, becoming his Chancellor. For the rest he would make 
his Ministry as aristocratic and as pure ' old Whig ' as he could, but 
it included that very advanced Radical, his own son-in-law, Durham. 
Undoubtedly Grey was carried by his followers and by the enthusi- 
astic, nay the menacing, attitude of the country into framing a measure 
far other than, far beyond, that which he would have wished to frame. 
As every one knows, after an excitement unparalleled since 1688, and 
after great difficulties in managing the King, the Reform Bill became 


law in the summer of 1832. The rest of Grey's career was uneventful ; 
he resigned office in 1834 on an important Irish question, and lived in 
peace at Howick till his death. He had fifteen children. 

Greville, who had an eye for the weakness of famous men but 
absolutely no party prejudice, judges Grey very hardly. ' My mind 
has always misgiven me about him, and what I have lately heard 
satisfies me that a more overrated man never lived, or one whose 
speaking was so far above his general abilities, or who owed so much 
to his oratorical plausibilities.' He thinks him the most finished 
orator of the day, but attributes to him ' pride, vanity, personal 
antipathies, caprice, indecision ', and (in another passage) nepotism. 
' Any one who is constantly with him and who can avail themselves 
of his vanity can govern him.' It is true that in Grey's Government 
in 1830 six members of his own family were provided for, and four of 
them salaried. It is also true that the masterful Madame de Lieven, 
wife of the Russian Ambassador, could turn him round her finger. 



actress, was the daughter of Roger Kemble, actor and manager of 
a strolling company, and was born at Brecon in Wales. Her mother 
was of Irish descent, but was a stern and proud puritan, who brought 
up her twelve children, among all the temptations incident to their 
profession, with the most rigid ideas of virtue ; she also gave them 
schooling whenever it was possible. Sarah went on the stage from 
her earliest days, and married, in spite of the reluctance of her parents, 
a member of the company, William Siddons, when she was eighteen 
years old. Siddons was a bad actor, but a good critic of his wife's 
performances. The sphere of their company was chiefly in the Western 


Midlands, and Sarah's first success seems to have come at Cheltenham. 
This led to her engagement at Drury Lane in 1775. Garrick, then 
at the close of his career, treated her with the greatest kindness and 
gave her Portia and many other parts, including Lady Anne, to 
which he himself played Richard III. In none of these parts was she 
successful, and was obliged to return to the country an angry and 
conspicuous failure. She blamed Garrick quite unjustly, and she 
never forgave him, although in her later life she lived upon friendly 
terms with his aged widow. In 1776-7 the tide began to turn, and 
Mrs. Siddons played to crowded houses at York, Manchester, and 
Liverpool ; then for four years at Bristol and Bath, 1778-82, where 
Scott saw her in his boyhood. It was at Bath that she first ' created ' 
the part of Lady Macbeth. In 1782 she returned to London, and 
took Drury Lane and the town by storm. Henceforth she was the 
acknowledged Queen of the Stage, and, though always unpopular 
with managers, reigned over audiences without a rival till 1809. She 
brought several of her brothers and sisters into the profession, but 
one only, John Kemble, obtained a real and lasting success. To 
him she was greatly attached, and she was at her best when acting 
with him. Between them they introduced a new style of acting, 
speaking, and moving on the stage ; it was a ' high tragedy style ', 
suited to Sarah's regal figure and statuesque beauty, but it was also 
somewhat bombastic. Garrick's school had been more natural, more 
' modern ', and the Kembles had the dissatisfaction, before they 
retired, of witnessing the debut and success of a young man who was 
to lead his audiences to prefer greater vivacity, Edmund Kean. 

But, for the time, no one questioned the supreme merit of Mrs. 
Siddons. George III, no mean judge in spite of Macaulay's ridiculous 
sneers, had the highest opinion of her ; Queen Charlotte wept in the 
royal box ; Sarah was engaged to give readings and elocution lessons 
to the princesses at Windsor. Johnson, Reynolds, Burke, Windham, 
and Sheridan (though she quarrelled with the last because during his 
tenure of Drury Lane he was always in arrears with her payments) 

From the portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, R.A., in tlie National Gallery 

Face p. 186 


were at her feet. Reynolds designed her dresses for Lady Macbeth, 
and painted her as the ' Tragic Muse '. She paid Johnson a visit at 
Bolt Court in 1783, and he paid her one of his wittiest and happiest 
compliments ; she seemed to him ' one of the few persons whom 
neither praise nor money, the two powerful corrupters of mankind, 
had depraved '. When she visited Dublin and Edinburgh her success 
was as great as in London, but she did not like Ireland and let it be 
seen that she did not ; she was always deficient in humour. She was 
also very greedy of money, mainly on account of her children, of 
whom she had five, and used to haggle in an unbecoming way over 
bargains. Though she had her fair share of the jealousy common 
to her profession, her moral character was quite above reproach ; 
it was said ' one would as soon think of making love to the Archbishop 
of Canterbury as to Mrs. Siddons '. Even in private life she never 
put off the airs of the ' tragedy queen '. Many people cherished 
romantic and platonic affections for her, among others the painter 
Lawrence, who compounded by engaging himself successively to her 
two daughters and then jilting them ; both these girls died young, 
and Mrs. Siddons nearly broke her heart at their deaths, though 
Lawrence recovered more easily. Mr. Siddons ceased to retain much 
hold on his wife's affection, and was perhaps jealous of the homage 
that was paid to her ; though they were never formally separated, 
they lived largely apart, and when he died in 1808 she manifested 
no real grief. 

Her greatest parts were all in pure tragedy, or in those comedies 
which come nearest to tragedy ; she was an ideal Lady Macbeth, 
Queen Katherine, Volumnia, Hermione, Cordelia, Desdemona. From 
1790 her appearances became somewhat less frequent. In 1802 she 
and John Kemble quitted Drury Lane and took a share in Covent 
Garden Theatre. This was burned down in 1808, shortly before the 
fire which consumed Drury Lane and ruined Sheridan. Covent Garden 
was reopened in 1809, and, as Kemble had increased the prices of 
seats in the auditorium in order to defray the cost of rebuilding, 


there was a fearful riot on the first night, the shouters demanding the 
'Old Price' (' O. P.') ; the riots went on night after night and week 
after week, and the Government did little to put them down. The 
princely salary enjoyed by Mrs. Siddons was one of the favourite 
subjects of criticism in the agitation connected with these riots. In 
1812 Mrs. Siddons took, as Lady Macbeth, a final farewell of the stage, 
although she occasionally appeared in ' benefits ' after this time, 
once as late as 1819. She had become very stout in her old age. 
She bequeathed her papers and diaries to Thomas Campbell with the 
request that he would edit them into a Life of her. He did so, without 
much success. 



actor, was probably born in London, but he was so fond of inventing 
stories about his early days that it would be rash to assume any 
certainty. It is, however, known that in his later life he made an 
allowance to a woman called Carey, whom he believed to be his mother. 
Nor can we depend upon the early history of his training (if his adven- 
tures can be called training) for the stage, for he seems to have lived 
by running away from place after place ; once as an acrobat at a fair 
he had a fall and broke his legs, which somewhat spoiled his carriage 
for the rest of his life. But he certainly played Prince Arthur in 
King John at Drury Lane in 1801 and Mrs. Siddons was of the caste. 
In 1806 he was acting at the Haymarket ; in 1808 he married an 
Irishwoman some years older than himself, who before 1812 had 
borne him two sons, the second of whom, Charles, became a pains- 
taking actor of early Victorian days. In 1813 came the turn of good 
fortune. An article in the Cornhill Magazine for January 1913 has 
shown how Dr. Drury, the celebrated Headmaster of Harrow, dis- 

Face p. 188 


covered Kean playing for very poor wages, first at Exeter and then 
at Teignmouth, acting Harlequin and Shylock in the same evening. 
He got a Mr. Grenfell to write to Whitbread about him, and the 
manager of Drury Lane was sent down to Dorchester to see him 
perform ; he was at once engaged for three years. Kean seems 
already to have made on his own account some promise to act for 
Elliston at another theatre, to get out of which cost some difficulty ; 
but early in 1814 he took the town by storm as Shylock and Richard III. 
From that time onwards he made enormous sums of money which 
he squandered, no one knows how. He had hangers-on in the lower 
ranks of his profession to whom he was generous, but who constantly 
tempted him to drink and evil courses ; he had none of the social 
gifts, as he had none of the high character or education, which had 
lifted Garrick above his profession, and therefore his appearances 
in society were a failure and a disappointment to his entertainers. 
He was, however, well received on a visit to Paris in 1818, and on his 
first visit to America in 1820 ; but the irregularities of his life began 
to bring him unfavourable receptions and hisses from his audiences, 
which even his audacity was not always able to quell. He shortened 
his life by drink. 

As an impersonator of some few of the greatest tragic characters 
of Shakespeare, Othello, Lear, Shylock, and Richard, it was the 
universal belief of his contemporaries, either friendly or unfriendly, 
that he had never had an equal, and it must be remembered that 
he had to contend with a great drawback in his low stature and 
awkward gait. 



poet and novelist, was the son of Walter Scott, Writer to the Signet, 
descended from the Harden branch of the Buccleuch family, and of 
Anne Rutherford, daughter of Professor John Rutherford of Edin- 
burgh ; Anne was on her mother's side descended from the Swinton 

Walter was born in a wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh, and 
became a cripple in his right leg when a baby ; this left him with 
a permanent limp, but did not prevent him from growing up into 
a tall man of great physical strength, a tireless walker and rider. 
He spent much of his childhood at his grandfather's farm of Sandy 
Knowe or Smailholm in Teviotdale. He went to the High School at 
Edinburgh in 1778, to the University in 1783, and in 1786 was appren- 
ticed to his father, but exchanged his profession for that of advocate, 
and was called to the Scottish Bar in 1792. He soon had a little 
practice, which might have increased more rapidly than it did but 
for his devotion to romantic literature and tradition in every form. 
He had, however, acquired in his father's office regular habits of 
doing his task, whatever it might be, with care, industry, and swiftness. 
He maintained these habits till his death, and herein he entirely differed 
from all other ' romantics '. He differed from them in other respects 
also ; from first to last he put little value on his own genius, except 
that after his financial troubles began he realized that he might pay 
his creditors by setting his Muse to continue to labour for their benefit. 
Otherwise he had little appetite for literary fame, and hated to ' talk 
book ' ; while his natural modesty and generosity led him to prefer 
almost every one's writings to his own, and his enthusiastic tempera- 
ment caused him actually to tout for patronage in favour of the 
dullest writers who sent him their books. 

From the portrait by Sir Edwin I.andseer, K.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Fact p. 


But he was born a story-teller and a dreamer about the past, 
and his head was ever full of the warp and woof of song, old or of 
his own spinning, as he walked or rode through the Border country 
and the Southern Highlands. His first efforts in published literature 
were translations from the German ; Scott had no accurate knowledge 
of any language but his own, but he acquired enough for his own 
purposes of Latin, French, Italian, Gaelic, and German, these purposes 
always being the tuning of old tradition to the music that was ever 
ringing in his own ears. Of other music he had no knowledge what- 
ever. The Great War with France turned all his thoughts to Britain, 
and especially to Scotland, her present, her past, and her future. 
He had neither time nor will to hanker after the ' auld alliance ' of 
Scotland and France, for if he was a Tory of the past he was a red hot 
Tory of the present also, a King George's man through and through ; 
and in 1797 he became quartermaster of a regiment of Edinburgh 
volunteer cavalry. In that same year he married Charlotte Carpenter, 
daughter of a Frenchman whose widow had taken refuge in England, 
and took a house in Castle Street, Edinburgh. His father died in 
1799, and in the same year Scott became Sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire. 
He published the Border Minstrelsy, the result of his unwearied col- 
lections of old Scottish ballads during his long rambles along the 
Marches, 'in 1802. The book contained one or two ballads of his own 
composition. His first and greatest long poem, The Lay of the Last 
Minstrel, came in 1805, the year in which he settled at Ashestiel on 
the Tweed ; but he did not give up his legal work, and obtained the 
reversion of a clerkship to the Court of Session in 1806. Mainly in 
order to assist an old schoolfellow, James Ballantyne, who had set up 
as a printer in Edinburgh, he plunged into other literary work, and 
also became a partner in Ballantyne's business. He began to edit 
Dryden ; he wrote for the Edinburgh Review ; he paid his first visit 
to London, and was lionized as the author of the Lay. In 1808 was 
started the project of Murray's Quarterly Review, and Scott, who dis- 
liked the Whig politics of the Edinburgh, was delighted to contribute. 


Marmion had appeared in the early spring of that year. The Ballan- 
tyne family now persuaded him into embarking capital, which he did 
not really possess, in their publishing firm as well as the printing 
business ; the new concern was never sound, and Scott, sanguine, and 
generous to an extreme degree where any ' old friend ', how unworthy 
soever, was concerned, began to involve himself in financial toils of 
which he never got quit. To help the Ballantynes he speculated in 
other enterprises as well. But all this was unknown to his best 
friends, and but little understood by himself. The Lady of the Lake 
appeared in 1810 ; in 1812 the Clerk of Sessions, whose reversion he held, 
retired, and Scott got a large addition to his income from the salary. 
This tempted him to buy Abbotsford, a very small estate and house 
a little lower down the Tweed than Ashestiel ; and from first to last 
the additions to this estate and the building of a fine house upon it 
involved him in very heavy expenditure. His later poems Rokeby, 
The Bridal of Triermain, The Lord of the Isles, and Harold the Dauntless, 
had less success than the three great ones ; the vein was being 
worked out. 

As a poet Scott occasionally meets with hard measure from the 
' art for art's sake ' school ; he was careless and headlong, he wrote 
because he enjoyed it, he composed largely while on horseback ; 
he was exceedingly unequal. Perhaps he was not a poet ait all, but 
just a ' minstrel ' the last of that strong, brave, simple race. And 
somehow one does not envy the man who can read Deloraine's mid- 
night ride or the battle canto of Marmion without emotion and without 

In 1813 some sort of financial crisis was only narrowly avoided 
by the help of the speculative publisher Constable, and by a loan 
from the Duke of Buccleuch. After that for several years the ship 
seemed to be righting herself. Scott's admirable edition of Swift 
came out in 1814. Shortly afterwards, while the ftes and fireworks 
for the first overthrow of Napoleon were in full swing, Mr. Speaker 
of the House of Commons, who kept a very interesting diary, noted 


in it that he ' read a Novel called Waverley ; people ascribe it to 
Walter Scott '. Most of this story had been written in 1805, shown 
to a friend who did not care for it, and then slipped into a drawer, 
wherein Scott found it when rummaging for fishing-tackle in 1814. 
He completed and published it on July 7. The authorship was 
readily guessed by all who knew the author intimately, but it was 
never avowed till 1827 ; and sometimes it was almost openly dis- 
avowed. Scott gave no special reason for this, nor need we seek any 
except that it was his humour to have it so, for he set little store by 
literary fame, and classed novels as rather a poor species of literature. 
The table of the dates of the romances that succeeded Waverley need 
not be given here ; in general the earliest are the greatest, but, as 
Mr. Lang says, ' we are very apt to prefer the one we read last '. 
If Waverley contains scenes and characters, both humorous and tragic, 
which only Scott could have written, Redgauntlet (1824) contains, 
in addition to the famous autobiographical sketches, episodes of 
tragedy and of comedy which even Scott in the heyday of his youth 
could not have surpassed. And, between these, what a gallery of 
portraits, what a splendid series of historical pictures, were given to 
the world in Guy Mannering, The Antiquary, Old Mortality, Rob Roy, 
The Heart of Midlothian, The Bride of Lammermoor , A Legend of 
Montrose, Ivanhoe, The Pirate, The Fortunes of Nigel, Quentin Durward, 
and St. Ronan's Well ! Scott wrote with swift regularity (and generally 
before breakfast), but formed little plan for his tales ; and his plots 
often broke down, or rather his heroes led him away as they listed. 
Other people, less wise than his heroes, led him away too ; he might 
have given us more of his best if the Ballantynes and Constable, 
looking to the temper of the reading public, had not spurred him on 
to write of the Crusaders and the bygone ' ages of chivalry '. He 
was master of many strings of the harp of romance ; of some he was 
such a master as was never heard before him or since him. The most 
perfect music was that which he struck from his knowledge of the 
legends and people of Scotland, and, though he could make splendid 


excursions into other lands, other times, other fields, as for instance, 
in Ivanhoe, Quentin Durward, Woodstock, and The Betrothed (the last 
two written in his period of decline, sorrow, and ruin), it was in the 
story of Scotland from 1640 downwards that he was most himself. 
For that story he had not to read up facts or to study the setting 
of his characters : he dreamed, lived, and was the incarnation of, 
the Scotland of the Stuarts and the Covenanters, of the ' Fifteen ' 
and the ' Forty-five ', and of his own light-hearted and glorious 
youth. This is not to say that Scott was a rebel against the Union, 
or a dabbler in sentimental nonsense about the ' White Rose ' ; so far 
was he from this that he made almost a fool of himself in the welcome 
which he made Edinburgh accord to the first Hanoverian sovereign 
who ever visited her George IV in 1822. This otherwise not estim- 
able person had some fine tastes in literature and read the Novels 
eagerly ; also he made Scott a baronet in 1820. Moreover, Scott, for 
all his romantic dreams, was a person of the most masculine common 
sense ; he saw the past indeed 

through the fairy light 
That shone from off the ground, 

but he knew perfectly well that it was the past, and in his life his 
business was oftenest with the present. Hence his hatred of the 
French Revolution, of democracy and all its works, his strenuous 
opposition to the Reform Bill, which led to his being almost stoned by 
the mob of Hawick in the last year but one of his life ; hence, too, 
his little Swift-like excursion into political finance, with the Letters of 
Malachi Malagrowther, 1826, when the Government proposed a measure 
believed to be injurious to the Scottish banking interest. So, too, when 
he had to write a boys' History of Scotland for his adored grandson 
Johnny Lockhart, in his Tales of a Grandfather he told the truth 
about both sides. 

Before this, financial ruin had come ; in his anxiety to keep open 
hospitality at Abbotsford, backed by his well-founded belief in his 
own ability to make a great income by his writings, he had pledged 


himself to printers and publishers in untraceable ramifications, and 
these men had built up a house of cards on the strength of it. The 
' panic ' of 1825 involved the ruin of one publisher ; this set all the 
regiment tottering and the house of cards fell, involving Scott in its 
ruin. There was no loss of honour, but there was loss of everything 
else. With amazing fortitude Sir Walter set himself for the rest of 
his life to ' write off the debt ' ; he would not go bankrupt, he would 
receive no Government help or pension, but he would thirl himself 
to his creditors, if haply their whole losses might be made good by 
the ' digging in the mine of his imagination '. His wife died, his own 
health broke down under the strain, but the gallant old man toiled 
on, even at such an uncongenial and laborious task as the Life of 
Napoleon (1827) in nine volumes. Constantly he would interrupt 
such work to write an article on some other subject for some friend 
who was in trouble, or to get up a subscription for some case of un- 
merited (or even merited) distress. Death thinned the ranks of his 
dearest, and the shadow of death hung over the most dearly loved of 
all, his grandson, when he undertook, at the entreaty of those who 
remained, a trip to the Mediterranean in a frigate which the Govern- 
ment placed at his disposal in 1831. While he was abroad he learnt 
of little Johnny Lockhart's death, and never rallied from the blow. 
He came home only to die at Abbotsford in the early autumn of 1832. 
Well might Andrew Lang's ' eyes be dimmed ' as he wrote the last 
words he was ever to write on ' that rich, kind genius, that noble 
character '. All can understand Sir Walter's writings, for their 
essence is simplicity, although, for some strange reason, not every one 
at the present day can appreciate even their rich humour, still less 
their haunting pathos. But some hearts, and among them that good 
critic's and disciple's who has now followed his master, have leaped 
into flame at the magic of his words, have throbbed with pride to think 
of the gallant struggle he made to save his honour and his credit from 
the wreck. 




artist, son of Golding Constable, a well-to-do miller of Yorkshire 
stock, and of Ann Watts, was born at East Bergholt on the East- 
Anglian Stour, within fourteen miles of the birthplace of Gainsborough. 
The few and simple events of his career are known to us almost wholly 
from that gem among artistic biographies, Memoirs of the Life of 
John Constable, by his friend and fellow-academician Leslie. John's 
father owned two water-mills and two windmills on the Essex- Suffolk 
boundary, and a visit to the scenes of the great painter's childhood, 
if prolonged through the several types of weather common to an 
English April or May, will show whence he drew his inspiration. 
Within a few hundred yards of Flatford or Bergholt eight or ten of 
his greatest works may be seen in Nature to-day. ' So startling ', 
says his biographer, who went there in 1840, ' was the resemblance of 
some of these scenes to the pictures of them, which we knew so well, 
that we could hardly believe we were standing for the first time on 
the ground from which they were painted.' Constable travelled little 
even within England ; a visit to Derbyshire and one visit to the Lake 
district are known, but though he made and exhibited some sketches 
of these counties, they do not live among his great works ; and he 
declared that mountains oppressed him. 

Constable got a fair schooling at Lavenham School and then at 
Dedham Grammar School, and was successively intended for the 
Church and for his father's profession of a miller ; to the latter he 
did indeed devote a short time, but the artistic bent, which he had 
shown as a child, was too strong to be resisted ; the kindness and 
taste of Sir George Beaumont prevailed over his parents' wishes, 
and in 1795 he was allowed to go to London to study art. Here he 
made friends with the eccentric author of Nollekens and his Times, 
who was afterwards known as ' Rainy-day Smith '. He was at home 
again in 1798 helping his father, but in 1799 became, at a later age 

From the portrait by Ramsay Richard Reinagle, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Fact p. 196 


than usual among artists, a student at the Academy, where his first 
unnamed and unnoticed ' Landscape ' was exhibited in 1802. From 
this time onwards his character, always resolute, patient, and original, 
hardened into a dogged determination to paint Nature as he saw it, 
and as, apparently, no critics or picture-buyers then saw it. Even 
Gainsborough had been under the conventions of the Dutch School, 
which strangely enough held that trees ought to be brown, though it 
excelled in that in which Constable also excelled, the true vision of 
the sky. As it is the glory of Hogarth to have freed portraiture and 
figure-painting from the Italian and French method, so it is the 
glory of Constable that he freed English landscape-painting from the 
Dutch tradition ; if there was an artist from whom he learned and 
to whom he looked up it was Claude. His early delight in Girtin, 
some of whose sketches were shown to him by Beaumont, must not 
be forgotten ; but neither Girtin, nor Claude, nor Wilson, all of whom 
he admired, turned him for one moment to the vice of imitation. 
In thrusting tradition aside Constable thrust fortune aside with her ; 
only the very few appreciated him in his lifetime, and many of his 
greatest pictures, which have since fetched extravagant prices, stood 
stacked, when he died, in his own painting-room in Charlotte Street. 
Among the few who prophesied some success for him was, as early 
as 1802, the kindly old President, West ; it was he who said to him, 
' Always remember, Sir, that light and shadow never stand still.' 
Another good adviser and patron was Dr. Fisher, Bishop of Salisbury, 
whose nephew, Archdeacon Fisher, was until his own early death the 
artist's warmest friend ; others were the academicians John Jackson 
and David Wilkie. But for many years Constable was obliged to 
supplement his income by rude attempts at portraiture, or by copying 
the works of other artists for money. He confessed to having learned 
some ' method ' by the latter practice ; by the former he only wasted 
his time without pleasing his sitters. 

He was not able to marry the lady, Miss Bicknell, to whom he 
had long been betrothed, till he was forty years of age (1816), and not 


till 1826 was he able to take a small house at Hampstead, though he 
often took lodgings there for the summer before that date. In 1819 
came his election as an Associate, and the exhibition of his now famous 
' White Horse ' ; it was of the boy fishing (whose back alone is shown 
in the foreground of this picture) that Sir George Beaumont said 
that ' he was undergoing the agony of a bite '. In 1821 came the 
' Hay Wain ' ; it was bought by a Frenchman, and exhibited in 
France, where, in fact, Constable's work began to be appreciated 
long before it found favour in England. 1823 was the year of the 
first of the three great ' Salisbury Cathedrals ', painted for the Bishop ; 
1824 the year of ' The Lock ', 1825 of ' The Jumping Horse ', 1826 of 
' The Cornfield ', 1828 of ' Dedham Vale ' and ' Hampstead Heath '. 
His election as an Academician in 1829 came too late for his happiness, 
for his beloved wife had just died, leaving him with seven young 
children ; and the artist's spirits, always liable to depression, and 
clouded, though never soured, by his uphill fight for recognition, took 
long to recover the blow. The vapid President Lawrence ' did not 
conceal from Constable that he considered him peculiarly fortunate 
in being chosen, at a time when there were historical painters of great 
merit on the list of candidates '. Not even the receipt of a com- 
mission to paint a mermaid for the sign of an inn in Warwickshire, 
though it appealed to the artist's grim sense of humour, could wipe 
out the sting of Lawrence's cruel condescension. Ill-health, in spite 
of a tall muscular figure and considerable strength, was never far 
away. Pecuniary anxiety ought, however, to have been over, as, 
just before Mrs. Constable's death, her father had died leaving her 
a modest fortune ; but Constable, without having any extravagances, 
was a thoroughly bad economist, and even when he had no money 
was for ever giving money away, to the deserving and undeserving 
alike. He could resist no appeal for charity. ' Hadleigh Castle ' 
was of that same year 1829, and Constable was also setting to work 
to prepare for publication the series of plates of his English Landscape, 
to be executed by David Lucas. In 1830 he exhibited ' A Dell in 


Helmingham Park ', and in the next year the large picture of ' Salis- 
bury Cathedral from the meadows ' ; in 1832 ' Waterloo Bridge ', of 
which Leslie says with truth that the painter had ' indulged to excess 
in the vagaries of the palette knife '. But Constable knew what he 
was about ; before all things he aimed at chiaroscuro, and here he 
attained it with a vengeance. In 1834 for the first time he visited 
Sussex, and fell in love not only with Petworth, where he stayed 
with Lord Egremont, but with the scenery of the River Arun, on 
a large canvas of which he was engaged at the time of his death three 
years later. He died suddenly in 1837. 

A great artist in another sphere, Mrs. Ewing, has, in the most 
perfect of her stories, depicted the life of a windmiller's boy who 
becomes a famous painter, and has avowedly sought some of her inspi- 
ration from the life of Constable. To explain her hero's gift she 
has recourse to a Dutch ancestry, which is just what John Constable 
had not. Like Hogarth, whose character in many ways resembled 
his own, he was English of the English. But like Mrs. Ewing's 
' Jan ' he studied for ever the ' natural history of the skies ', and, 
as to Jan so to him, a windmill was a constant delight ; his brother 
Abraham (' Abel ', with Mrs. Ewing) said to Leslie, ' When I look at 
a mill painted by John I see that it will go round.' It is the same 
with his ' Lock ' ; we know that its gate will creak, we can actually 
hear it creaking, but we know that it will gradually open. Fuseli, 
the wit of the Academy, said that Constable's skies ' made him in- 
stinctively call for his great coat and umbrella '. Blake said of some 
of his fir-trees in a sketch-book, ' Why, this is not drawing but inspira- 
tion ! ' Before the time when the word had come to be ludicrously 
abused, Constable was a pure realist ; he forgot everything but Nature. 
It was thought, even so early as the time at which Modern Painters 
was written, a strange thing that Mr. Ruskin should have unduly 
depreciated Constable's art in comparison with Turner's ; but Turner 
himself never undervalued it, and the fault is now believed to lie with 
the critic, not the artist. 



sculptor, was the son of John Flaxman, a modeller in London. He 
began to draw from the antique in early boyhood, and became a 
student at the Academy at fifteen years of age. He was very soon 
employed by the Wedgwoods, enriching their beautiful ware with his 
classical designs, and from his twenty-fifth year began to work in 
stone or marble upon sepulchral monuments, especially in the churches 
of Sussex, in which county he frequently stayed with his friend Hayley, 
In 1787 he went to Italy and spent seven years there, principally at 
Rome, studying and executing a few commissions for copies from the 
great antiques. Canova, then at the height of his fame, never ceased 
to point out Flaxman's merits, and did all he could to bring him 
forward, but Flaxman's own excessive modesty no doubt stood in his 
way. It was during this sojourn that he drew his wonderful designs 
to illustrate the Iliad and the Odyssey. Both before and after his 
return to London he might be seen standing in the streets making 
sketches of attitudes or other objects that struck him. He was 
elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1797, an Academician 
in 1800, and Professor of Sculpture in 1810. He was one of the most 
simple, frugal, and affectionate men in the world, half a mystic in 
religion, and a warm friend of Blake and Stothard, yet equally beloved 
by Romney, Canova, and the vainglorious Fuseli. Leslie, who only 
knew him in his old age, speaks of his manner when giving advice to 
young artists as ' almost painfully polite '. 

No British sculptor ever showed quite the same graceful and 
chaste imagination, nor such purity of line ; but, though he had 
many small patrons, he was seldom employed by great ones, and 
never, with the exception of Lord Egremont, by a rich patron upon 


From the portrait by George Romney in the 
National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by himself in the possession 

of the Royal Academy 


From the portrait by Thomas Phillips, R.A., in the 

National Portrait Gallery 

From a miniature belonging to Miss Tatlock 

Face p- 200 


anything big ; and so not one-third of the designs of his fertile brain 
were ever carried out in durable material. His real power is, however, 
amply revealed in his outline designs and in the collections of casts 
preserved in University College, London, and in the Fitzwilliam 
Museum at Cambridge. And every now and then one's eyes are 
arrested in a country church by some simple and beautiful monument, 
very likely in freestone, usually a single female allegorical figure 
standing or kneeling, and a careful inspection will reveal the tiny 
letters ' /. Flaxman fecit '. His moulding of leaves and flowers for 
backgrounds was particularly exquisite ; he could imitate even a rose 
in plaster, and, though always striving after a classical standard, he 
never followed it without reference to Nature. Individual portraiture 
was not his strong point, but at the recent exhibition of Nelson relics, 
among many busts of the hero there was one in common stone by 
Flaxman, which made all the others look very small. Nelson, indeed, 
is believed to have said to him, ' If ever there should be a statue 
erected to me I hope that you will be the sculptor ' ; but when the 
monument in St. Paul's was voted, Flaxman, who had, in accordance 
with Nelson's wish, sent in a design for it, was ordered to carve it after 
the design of the vastly inferior artist Westmacott. 



artist, was born in Bristol. His father was the son of a clergyman, 
but had come down in the world owing to his own inability to stick 
to any of the numerous trades that he had practised ; he had run away 
with the daughter of a clergyman, and at the time of Thomas's birth 
was keeping the White Lion Inn, Bristol. He moved thence three 
years later to the Bear at Devizes, which, being on the Bath road, was 
always full of distinguished guests. But he succeeded as little there 
as elsewhere, and moved to Oxford when his son was ten years old. 

This son was unquestionably an ' infant prodigy ', with a talent 
for acting, reciting poetry, and, above all, for sketching likenesses. 
He began to earn money at this last trade before the family left 
Devizes. He pursued the same trade at Oxford, Weymouth, and 
Bath, the successive stages of their migration, before he finally took 
his parents to live with, and on, him in London, when at eighteen 
he entered as a student at the Academy. His first engraved portrait, 
that of Mrs. Siddons as the ' Grecian Daughter ', was drawn at Bath. 
Reynolds spoke kindly to him at their only interview in London, 
but advised him to ' study Nature ' ; and this the highly talented 
young man could never do. He could draw with amazing facility, 
and he could catch an exterior likeness, especially of a man, with 
great sureness, but he could never idealize, and could never see the 
character of his sitters through their faces. He was amazingly fortu- 
nate in his opportunity ; for the three great masters had recently passed 
away, and Hoppner, who was his only serious rival, died in 1810. 
Lawrence received an ample and early share of Court favour, being 
elected a supplementary Associate of the Academy at the age of 
twenty-one at George Ill's especial request, and both that King and 
George IV remained his warm patrons, all his life and all their lives. 
He was chosen to paint the portraits of the Allied Sovereigns at the 
Peace of 1814, and of the magnates assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle 


in 1818 ; he painted the Austrian Emperor and his nobles at Vienna, 
the Pope and his Cardinals at Rome, Charles X and his son at Paris. 
He was elected President of the Royal Academy in 1820, and received 
a D.C.L. at Oxford in the same year. There was no end to his success, 
and his success was his worst snare. 

Lawrence in fact had any amount of talent, but no genius what- 
ever. He worked without devotion to art, and never for the sake of 
art. His method was to give a series of short sittings, seldom exceed- 
ing an hour, and then to work for the same time from recollection, 
almost, if one might use such an expression, to ' fake ' his pictures. 
Thus in his women (and he painted all the beautiful women of his day) 
every feature that he touched was 

turned to favour and to prettiness 

He was an adroit courtier, and, though he had no education at all, 
so clever that he could hold his own, especially in female society, 
without committing himself. He was too much adored by women, 
and adored them too much. He was, in fact, a born philanderer. 
Fanny Kemble gives the story of his successive engagements to her 
two cousins, the daughters of Mrs. Siddons, whose hearts he probably 
broke. He had few friends among men, and fewer among artists ; 
but it must be allowed that he occasionally painted an astonishingly 
fine male head ; that of Sir Charles Vaughan, now in All Souls College, 
is perhaps his best : that of Warren Hastings in his old age, now in 
the National Portrait Gallery, is very fine. Once or twice in early 
life he had attempted allegorical or sacred painting, always with 
conspicuous failure. His ' Satan ', from Paradise Lost, exhibited in 
1797, was happily described by the witty Fuseli as ' a damned thing, 
but not the Devil '. In his later years he painted little more than 
the heads of his sitters and left his assistants to finish the rest. In 
spite of the large sums he earned by his portraiture, and in spite of 
having no extravagant tastes or vices, he was nearly always in want 
of money, if not in actual debt ; no one knew on what he spent his 
money, and he probably did not know himself. 



sculptor, was the son of a small carpenter and was born in a village 
near Sheffield ; what education he got was at the village school, or 
was given to himself in after-life. From being a grocer's boy he went 
as apprentice to a carver and gilder, who also sold prints in his shop 
at Sheffield. Here he attracted the notice of J. R. Smith the engraver, 
son of ' Smith of Derby ', who encouraged him to draw and carve. 
All kinds of stories of Chantrey's early passion for modelling in butter 
(at the grocer's) and in other equally ridiculous material are sifted 
and rejected by his rambling and discursive biographer, John Holland. 
Early patrons and friends were Mr. Brammall, a file manufacturer of 
Sheffield, and his partner Ebenezer Rhodes, afterwards author of the 
book on Peak Scenery which was illustrated from Chantrey's drawings. 
The result was that money was raised to buy the boy out of his inden- 
tures before his seven years were expired, 1802. He must, however, 
have been doing portraits in Sheffield (at five guineas apiece) before 
that date ; for 1802 is also the date of his first appearance in London, 
when he began to study, though not admitted as a student, at the 
Royal Academy. Perhaps he occasionally returned to Sheffield until 
1807. He had an aunt, uncle, and pretty cousin (whom he afterwards 
married) in service in Mayfair with Mrs. d'Oyley, the rich grand- 
daughter of Sir Hans Sloane of Museum fame, and it is probable that 
Chantrey visited frequently, if he did not also occasionally reside, 
at Mrs. d'Oyley's house. In 1807 he was still occasionally doing 
portraits and getting as much as twenty guineas apiece for them. 
He was also becoming an ardent Whig, or even Radical politician ; he 
heads one of his letters in 1810 with ' Burdett for ever ! ' the favourite 
cry of the London mob of that year. ' It seems proper to mention ', 
says Holland, ' that Chantrey's political views ultimately underwent 


a greater change than even those of the popular idol himself ; indeed, 
in later life, his old compatriots of the Whig school regarded him as 

It was his constant study of the Elgin marbles that finally deter- 
mined him to abandon all other art for sculpture, though it is not 
easy to determine the date at which this abandonment took place. 
Somewhere about 1807 he was buying marble ; it was the year of his 
very happy marriage, his cousin-wife bringing him a small fortune 
of her own. In 1809 he exhibited busts of Lords Howe, Duncan, and 
St. Vincent, in 1810 busts of Home Tooke and Burdett, and in the 
same year his design was accepted for a statue of George III, who had 
just sent his friend Burdett to the Tower ; Chantrey lived to carve 
representations of the next three sovereigns. From this time onwards 
his commissions were innumerable and highly paid ; he visited Paris 
and the Louvre at the Peace of 1814 in company with Stothard, whose 
perfectly graceful figure-drawing influenced him much ; in 1815 he 
became an Associate of the Academy, and an Academician in 1818 ; 
in the next year he travelled to Italy. He was knighted in 1835, and 
died quite suddenly in his sixty-first year, leaving his large fortune, 
after the death of Lady Chantrey, to form a fund in the hands of the 
Royal Academy for the purchase of works of art by contemporary 
artists resident in Great Britain. 

Leslie, who admired his work immensely, speaks of his ' bluff 
John Bull look ', and bluntness of manner, of his playfulness and 
wit ; of ' his strong native sense and tact compensating for his entire 
want of book learning '. Of his art the same critic says, ' He seems 
to me the Reynolds of portrait sculpture ; he often showed his powers 
most when he had an indifferent subject ' he was successful even with 
King William IV. Chantrey maintained that a master in sculpture 
could teach pupils very little ; ' any stone-mason can teach the use 
of the chisel ; the fault of our sculptors is that few of them are work- 
men.' It is perhaps to be regretted that Chantrey carved compara- 
tively few allegorical figures ; the most celebrated of all his groups, 


that in Lichfield Cathedral, of the ' Sleeping Children ', one of whom 
has a bunch of snowdrops in her hand, shows rare power. Even 
better known is his ' Couple of Woodcock ', which he, who was a great 
sportsman, killed at one shot and then carved in marble for his friend 
Lord Leicester. This was the subject of much wit, afterwards col- 
lected into a little volume of epigrams. 



was the son of a Staffordshire doctor of Dutch extraction. He was 
apprenticed at the age of eighteen to J. R. Smith, who had some 
fame as a portrait-painter and engraver ; Smith was also a patron of 
Turner and of Girtin. In 1809 de Wint became a student at the 
Royal Academy, but his best work was always done for the Water- 
Colour Society, and most of it in the open air. Like Turner, he 
accepted many commissions from Mr. Fawkes of Farnley, and from 
other rich country gentlemen, at whose houses he would stay while 
executing them. Only on one occasion did he travel abroad to 
Normandy in 1828 and his work is essentially of the faithful English 
School of landscape ; that is to say, it is less various, calmer, and 
tamer than Turner's in his more inspired hours, less romantic than 
Girtin's, and it reflects perhaps, in its delicate attention to detail, 
something of the painter's Dutch ancestry. ' Harmony ' is the most 
remarkable note of de Wint's work, a somewhat sombre harmony ; 
it is said, however, that many of his skies have faded considerably, 
the blue in them being destroyed by the chemical action of the iron 
oxides of which the artist's reds were made. His ' Lincoln Cathedral ', 
now in the National Gallery, is generally allowed to be his master- 
piece ; no one ever excelled de Wint in the composition which could 
set a majestic building like Lincoln into rich and sober landscape. 
The painter, whose home was in London, died there in 1849. 



was the third son of George III and Queen Charlotte. Greville noted 
in his Diary on July 18, 1830, less than a month after his accession : 
' Altogether he seems a kind-hearted, well-meaning, not stupid, 
burlesque, bustling old fellow, and, if he doesn't go mad, may make 
a very decent King, but he exhibits oddities.' The diarist had neither 
an exalted idea of the royal office nor of the members of the royal 
family with whom he was acquainted, but he here wrote a fairly 
accurate description of King William, concerning whose life both as 
Prince and King a very few details need be given. 

William Henry, Duke of Clarence, bore a somewhat closer resem- 
blance to the rest of his family than George IV, who, happily, was 
sui generis ; but he had neither the superficial cleverness of his eldest 
brother nor the patience of his second. He was bred to the Navy, 
entered it at the age of thirteen, and acquired a considerable knowledge 
of naval affairs and of seamanship. If he was a failure in the profession 
it was not from idleness, or from want of keenness, or want of readiness 
to go anywhere and do anything, but from want of balance, from fussi- 
ness, and, in spite of Greville's dictum, from stupidity. He served first 
on board the Prince George, and was present at the two successive 
re-victuallings of the beleaguered fortress of Gibraltar by Rodney 
and by Darby ; he led the ordinary gunroom life, with the exception 
of having a cabin to himself. He was with Hood on the West India 
Station in 1782 ; was on leave, for an extended continental tour, in 
1 783-5 ; passed for Lieutenant in the summer of the latter year ; 
and got his first command, a frigate, in April 1786, again in the West 
Indies. He had already made friends with Nelson on an earlier 
cruise, and renewed the friendship at this date, being present at 
Nelson's marriage at Nevis, and giving away the bride. In 1788-9 
he commanded the Andromeda, and had a third experience of the 
West India Station. His last ship was the Valiant, commissioned 
in the armament destined to enforce English claims on Vancouver 
in 1790 if war should be declared on Spain. In all his commands the 


Prince showed an unfortunate disposition to quarrel, and actually did 
quarrel, with his subordinates. Without being in the least false, 
or harsh, or ill-natured, he was simply so fussy as to irritate them 
beyond bearing ; and with his promotion to Rear-admiral at the end 
of 1790 his active service ended. He was bitterly disappointed at 
this, and again and again begged for employment in the Navy, but 
was always refused ; indeed, it would have been difficult to find 
officers to serve under him. He settled down in 1791 as a ' country 
gentleman ' at Bushey with his left-handed wife Mrs. Jordan, the 
celebrated actress, by whom he had ten children ; she did not quit 
the stage, and she contributed to the extravagant and ill-managed 
expenses of their household her own very considerable professional 
income. But William had his brother's faculty for getting into debt, 
and in 1811 was obliged to break up this pleasant menage and ' re- 
trench '. He was invariably kind to Mrs. Jordan, and afterwards 
provided for all his children by her. Although she herself died abroad 
and in poverty in 1816, it must be remembered that she had children 
by other fathers than the Duke, had never for long abandoned the 
theatrical profession, and never considered herself to have been 
deserted by him. In 1817 he was brought within two steps of the 
throne by the death of Princess Charlotte, and at once married the 
good and sweet-tempered Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen ; he settled 
with her at Bushey, and became actual heir to the throne on 
the death of the Duke of York in 1827. Then Canning, in his last 
Administration, very unwisely made Clarence Lord High Admiral, 
intending the title to be merely an honorary one, and not supposing 
that the Duke would take command of the Channel Fleet and put to 
sea, or would exercise his prerogative in promoting his friends whenever 
they asked him. But these things William did in 1828, much to the 
disgust and even the terror of the other Lords of the Admiralty (1828). 
Remonstrances from the King and the Duke of Wellington were at 
once sent to him, and he resigned his office in no very good temper. 

But he bore little malice and, when he became King in June 1830, 
the nation, not only delighted to be rid of the nightmare of George IV, 

From an engraving by F. C. Lewis, after a drawing by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. 

Fact p. 208 


but knowing only good stories of William's ' heartiness ' and affability, 
hailed his accession with joy. Those who were responsible for the 
political government of the country were less enthusiastic ; fears 
were entertained lest the new King should interfere impetuously 
with details of administration, fears on account of his passion for 
making long and incoherent speeches on all sorts of subjects, 
fears also of some obstinate contempt of the ' conventions ' of the 
Constitution. None of these fears were realized. It is not to be 
supposed that King William was an ardent champion of the Reform 
Bill ; but, as he had warmly accepted the Tory Duke of Wellington 
whom he found in office at his accession, so he readily and fairly 
accepted Lord Grey, the champion of Reform, in the late autumn 
of 1830. On several successive occasions before the Bill was passed 
Grey had to ' manage ' his master, and did not display much tact in 
doing so. The King very naturally and properly objected to swamping 
the House of Lords by a great creation of Peers in order to pass the 
Bill ; but eventually a more practical, if less constitutional, expedient 
was found by getting him to write a letter to the Opposition peers 
advising them to drop their resistance. 

From this time onward he took a rooted dislike to the Whigs, 
not so much as a party but as individuals who had bored and lectured 
him, so that in 1836 Greville could call him a ' true King of the Tories '. 
He had two daughters by Queen Adelaide, who was warmly attached 
to him, but both died in infancy. He was really fond of the Princess 
Victoria, and bitterly offended at the way in which her mother, the 
Duchess of Kent, kept her away from his Court ; he hated this lady, and 
one of his last public utterances was a speech made at his own dinner- 
table, in the presence of the Duchess, of Princess Victoria, of his own 
Queen, and of a large number of distinguished people, a speech of such 
amazing rudeness and ungentlemanliness, that it seemed almost to show 
symptoms of aberration of mind. He then said, among other things, 
that he hoped to live nine months more so that a regency of the Duchess 
might be avoided. He just got his wish with a month to spare. 






were sons of William Scott, who was in business as a coal merchant 
at Newcastle, and of Jane Atkinson ; the elder brother William 
became as famous a lawyer, as stout a Tory, as great a drinker of 
port wine, and a far greater scholar than the younger John. William 
was six years older than John ; both received their education at 
Newcastle Grammar School from a Fellow of Peterhouse, Moises. 
William obtained a scholarship at Corpus Christi, John went to Univer- 
sity College, Oxford, and both became Fellows of the latter College. 
Both embraced the profession of the Law, but William was by far 
the more qualified by scholarship and reading to mix in the best 
literary society of London, was the intimate friend of Johnson in his 
old age, and a member of ' The Club ' ; John shut himself up with 
his law books and his adored young wife, Bessy Surtees, with whom 
he had run away by the aid of a rope-ladder in his twenty-first year. 
William chose the Admiralty and Ecclesiastical Courts as his sphere ; 
John mastered the sciences and the practices alike of Common Law 
and Equity. And if in the end it fell to Lord Eldon to summarize 
and harmonize the principles of British Equity, Lord Stowell was no 
less supreme upon his own side, a ' lawgiver rather than a judge ' on 
all questions of Maritime Law. Stowell lived to be ninety, Eldon to 
be eighty-six. Their University commemorates, by the ' Stowell 
Fellowship ' and the ' Eldon Scholarship ', two of the greatest lawyers 
it ever bred. 

William Scott inherited in 1776 considerable property from his 

From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. aio 


father and was called to the Bar in 1780. His first office was that of 
Advocate- General to the Admiralty (1782) ; in 1788 he became succes- 
sively Judge of the Consistory Court of London, King's Advocate- 
General, Vicar-General for the Province of Canterbury. Ten years 
later he became Judge of the Admiralty Court. These offices did not 
exclude their holder from a seat in the House of Commons, and Scott 
sat from 1790 until he obtained his peerage in 1821 ; from 1801 he 
represented the University of Oxford. He took no active part in 
politics, and concerned himself wholly with such legal questions as 
arose in the House, but his votes were steadily given upon the Tory 
side. He resigned his judicial office in 1828, and soon after this his 
mind gave way. 

John's success at the Bar was as rapid as William's ; he was 
called in 1776, and within five years had got a considerable practice 
in the Equity Court. He took silk, and entered Parliament in the 
same year, 1783, Thurlow being his first, and remaining his most 
steady, patron. He became Solicitor-General in 1788, Attorney- 
General in 1793, and was already known as a trusty supporter of all 
vigorous measures of Pitt's Government for the repression of sedition. 
But, side by side with his vigorous Toryism must always be remem- 
bered his scrupulous regard for precedent and formality ; no one 
could prove that Scott, whether as attorney in pleading or as judge 
in giving decisions, overstepped the strict letter of the law or was 
guilty of partiality. He rejoiced that the law was strict, and rejoiced 
to make it more strict by legislative enactment, but in no other way. 
In 1799 he became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and a peer, 
and in 1801 Lord Chancellor in Addington's Government. With the 
exception of the brief interval of the ' Talents ' Ministry, 1806-7, 
Lord Eldon sat upon the woolsack for the ensuing twenty-six years. 
He was freely accused by his political opponents of having juggled 
with the question of George Ill's sanity in 1801 and 1804 ; of betraying 
Addington to Pitt in the same year ; of deserting in 1811 the cause 
of the Princess of Wales, to whom he had given some advice in 1807 ; 

p 2 


of toadying in 1812 the Prince Regent, whose power he had wished 
to restrict in the previous year on the same lines as in 1788. To all 
these accusations good answers could have been given, but Eldon was not 
a lucid or convincing speaker in the House of Lords, and he was stout 
enough to be very indifferent to public opinion. To keep the Whigs, 
whom he honestly regarded as mere traitors, out of office, he would 
have stooped a good deal more than he was ever accused of stooping. 
He was determined that the negotiations for a Coalition in 1812 should 
fail ; and, if anything besides the pedantic scruples of Grey, Grenville, 
and Canning brought about their failure, it was Eldon's newly acquired 
influence with the Prince Regent. Yet long afterwards, when he had 
to preside over Queen Caroline's trial in the House of Lords, he main- 
tained to the fullest degree the reputation of the English Law for 
perfect fairness. 

But where mere ' politics ' were concerned it is easy to see that 
Eldon's influence was wholly bad. The three most crying needs of the 
time were the removal of religious restrictions, the reform of the 
criminal law, and a more free system of imports, especially of corn ; 
on every one of these points Eldon was the most rigid opponent of all 
change. The breadth of mind natural to a great lawyer, such as 
Eldon undoubtedly was, seems to us, and seemed to most of his con- 
temporaries, absolutely irreconcilable with the bigotry that he dis- 
played against Catholic Emancipation ; but this bigotry endeared 
him to the University of Oxford, which adored him as her High 
Steward. He was quite prepared to exhort George IV to veto the 
Act of Emancipation ; tradition says they wept upon each other's 
necks in 1829, but luckily the King was made of fibre less stout than 
the ex-Chancellor. Against Romilly and Mackintosh Eldon was 
prepared to defend the worst absurdities and excesses of the old 
Draconian code, and he defended them equally against Peel ; he must 
have known that the result was that nine criminals out of every ten 
escaped punishment altogether. The fact is, that as Eldon grew 
older he saw in sheer dogged resistance to all change the one hope 

From the portrait by Thomas Phillips. K.A., at Corpus Christ! College. Oxford 

J-'acc p. 212 


for the country ; Lord Sidmouth was his brother's son-in-law, and 
they continually hugged each other as the ' last of the old school ' . 
This is not to say that they had not been right in the measures of 
repression against seditious meetings in 1817-19, as their predecessors 
had been in 1794-8. They were equally united in their opposition 
to the Reform Bill. 

Eldon resisted as much as he could the accession of Canning to 
the Foreign Office in 1822 ; his personal distrust of Canning dated 
from 1809, and in Canning's opinions on the Catholic question he 
foresaw the greatest danger to the country. He resigned when Canning 
became Prime Minister in 1827. The loss of his beloved wife in 1831 
was a fearful blow to him ; his eldest son had been long dead, leaving 
him with a grandson heir to the Earldom which had been conferred 
on him at George IV's Coronation. He died six months after the 
accession of Victoria. 

Greville, who calls him ' a contemptible statesman ', remembered 
him as a very cheerful, good-natured old man, loving to talk, and 
telling anecdotes with considerable humour and point, ' beguiling the 
tedious hours, during which the Prince Regent used to keep the 
Lords of the Council waiting at Carlton House, with amusing stories 
of his early professional life and anecdotes of celebrated lawyers, 
which he told extremely well '. 

Great complaints were made in Eldon's time of the delays of the 
Court of Chancery, and his unpopularity with reformers (and there- 
fore with historians) has generally laid them at his door. It is true 
that he was exceedingly slow in giving decisions, and very often 
reserved judgement ; but this was on his part a deliberate self- 
restraint ; his own mind really worked with as much swiftness as 
subtlety, and he was laudably anxious not to be led away by his 
facility. The best proof of the admirable nature of his judgements 
is that they were hardly ever reversed. As regards the delays of the 
Court, its business had been increasing for half a century at a very 
great rate, and the appointment of a single Vice-Chancellor in 1813 


did little to relieve it ; Eldon had often to rehear and reverse his 
deputy's decisions. The appointment of a Parliamentary Commission 
on the subject of the delays had little effect ; Eldon himself presided 
over it, and The Times asserted that its Report was an ' apology for 
all the abuses of the Court '. The real need was not one but several 
Vice-Chancellors, and several Courts of Equity. Where Eldon was 
really great was in giving fixity to the principles of his science. In 
his time Equity became a ' fixed body of legal doctrine '. To a certain 
extent Lord Hardwicke, in his twenty years of occupation of the 
woolsack, had begun this arrangement and harmonizing ; but since 
1756 the process had gone no further until Eldon's time. Eldon 
defined his own views when, in 1818, in the case of Gee versus Pritchard, 
he said : ' The doctrines of this Court ought to be as well settled and 
made as uniform, almost, as those of the Common Law, laying down 
fixed principles, but taking care that they are to be applied according 
to the circumstances of each case.' He left Equity no longer as an 
elastic corrective of the Common Law, but as the administrative and 
protective side of the general law of the land, over against the remedial 
and retributive side of the same law as administered in the Common 
Law Courts. 



statesman, better known as Viscount Althorp, was the eldest son 
of the second Earl, Pitt's somewhat commonplace First Lord of the 
Admiralty, 1794-1801, and of Lavinia Bingham. He was educated 
at Harrow, where Byron and Peel were his (junior) schoolfellows, and 
at Trinity College Cambridge. He constantly spoke of the deficiencies 
of his early education, but he had in fact a creditable career both 
at school and University, and distinguished himself considerably 
in University examinations, which it was not then obligatory for 
a nobleman to encounter. But he also ran up heavy debts by racing 
at Newmarket, and these began that encumbrance of the family 
property from which he never got quit. In his later years he was 
obliged to let Althorp, and to devote himself to careful retrenchment. 
He entered Parliament as a Pittite in 1804, held a Junior Lordship 
of the Treasury under Grenville in 1806, conceived an admiration for 
Fox, and went on towards a more advanced, almost a Radical, Whiggery 
from 1809. He made a very happy marriage in 1814, and his wife's 
death four years later left him unconsoled and lonely till the end of 
his life. He was a strong opponent of Liverpool's Ministry on all 
social questions, to which, in his loneliness, he devoted more and more 
study, and he had the sense to be the first advocate of one of the very 
few practical reforms which we owe to his party the establishment 
of the system of County Courts. He gave a good deal of independent 
support to Canning in 1827, and was not in active opposition during 
the Governments either of Goderich or Wellington. He was an early 
free trader, a strong pro-Catholic, and a champion of economy and 
of the reduction of taxation. His hatred of show, of cant, and of 


oratory, his utter lack of personal ambition, his shyness, and his 
loathing for anything like parliamentary ' management ', make his 
position, at the date of the Reform Bill, one of the most remarkable 
things in our history. He took up all his public duties with regret, 
almost with distaste, and only sought some honourable chance of 
resigning them. Yet this man, who confessed that his greatest 
pleasure in life was ' to see sporting dogs hunt ', and was the very 
best Master that the very best pack of foxhounds in England, the 
Pytchley, ever had, became also, by the confession of friends and 
foes alike, the ' very best leader of the House of Commons that any 
party ever had '. Nor was he far from being the very best Chancellor 
of the Exchequer (1830-4). It was Althorp who carried the Reform 
Bill ; Grey himself, with all his oratory and vanity, was obliged to 
confess as much ; and yet Althorp (who favoured the ballot) was 
by nature more of Durham's wing of the party than of Grey's. The 
skill, the blunt but kindly and honest fashion in which Althorp 
handled his Irish ' friends' (with O'Connell, yelping for repeal of the 
Union at every most inopportune moment, at their head), extorted 
every one's admiration. To no one else in the House would it have 
been permitted to say (and to say to an Irishman), ' Your arguments, 
as matters of reasoning, are unanswerable ; my reply is that your 
proposal is impolitic.' So perfect was the general confidence not only 
in Althorp's integrity but in his sound judgement, that on a famous 
occasion he was cheered to the echo, carried his division, and left his 
antagonist, Croker (who had just made a very able and argumentative 
speech), helpless and gasping, merely by saying ' that he had made 
some calculations, which he considered as entirely refuting Croker's 
arguments, but had unfortunately mislaid his notes ; but, if the 
House would be guided by his advice, it would reject Croker's amend- 
ment ' . 

When the Bill had become law, Althorp wanted to retire at once, 
but stood by Grey till July, 1834 ; and, when he at last resigned, the 
King quietly dismissed Grey and the other Ministers on the ground 

From the portrait by Sir Martin Archer Slice, P.R.A., belonging to Earl Spencer, K.G., at Althorp 

Face p. 216 


that they would be useless without Althorp. Even then the universal 
wish of his own side induced Althorp to return to office and support 
Melbourne until the autumn, when the death of Lord Spencer removed 
him to the House of Lords. With a huge sigh of relief the new Earl 
abandoned politics for good, and devoted himself to scientific agricul- 
ture and stock-breeding. Therein he found the nearest approach to 
happiness that he had known since the loss of his wife. He was the 
founder, and became the first President, of the Royal Agricultural 
Society, the founder also of the Agricultural College at Cirencester. 
He was an ardent patron of the prize-ring, believing pugilism to be 
a necessary accomplishment for an Englishman. 

' No man/ says Greville, ' ever died with a fairer character or 
more generally regretted ; . . . the very model and type of an English 
gentleman ; ... he marched through the mazes of politics with that 
straightforward bravery which was the result of sincerity, singleness 
of purpose, the absence of all selfishness, and a true, genuine, but 
unpretending patriotism ; ... he possessed the faculty of disarming 
his political antagonists of all bitterness and animosity towards him. 
Neither Pitt the father nor Pitt the son, in the plenitude of their 
magnificent dictatorships, nor Canning in the days of his most brilliant 
displays of oratory and wit, nor Castlereagh, returning in all the 
glory of an ovation from the overthrow of Napoleon, could govern 
with the same sway the most unruly and fastidious assembly which 
the world ever saw.' 




statesman, was reputed the second son of Sir Peniston Lamb, first 
Viscount, and of Elizabeth Milbanke, the aunt of Lady Byron. It was 
however believed, and there is no means of disproving it, that the real 
father both of William Lamb and of his sister Lady Palmerston was 
the famous Lord Egremont, to whom in character and person William 
bore a close resemblance. William was educated at Eton, at Trinity, 
Cambridge, and at the University of Glasgow ; he became a first-rate 
classical scholar, and retained and indulged all his life a passion for the 
widest reading on a great variety of subjects, and especially for the 
study of controversial theology. When he became Prime Minister 
he was perhaps the best-informed man in England ; and, as he had 
a wonderfully retentive memory and possessed in a high degree the art 
of conversation, his stores of learning were the amazement of his 
generation. He sat to Sir Joshua as a boy, and remembered having 
been bribed with a ride on the great artist's foot to ' sit a little longer '. 
He was destined for the Bar, and had actually begun to get practice 
when his elder brother's death in 1805 induced him to enter Parlia- 
ment in 1806. He had just made the unfortunate marriage with his 
light-headed, foolish wife, the famous Lady Caroline, who hunted down 
Lord Byron and had other amours. He was not separated from her 
till 1825. 

He began political life as an ardent Whig, veered round into 
a Canningite, and became Irish Secretary in Canning's brief Govern- 
ment of 1827. This office he retained under Goderich, and for a time 
under Wellington. The first Viscount died in 1828 and Melbourne, 
though without any real liking for Reform, soon gravitated to the 

From the portrait by John Partridge in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 218 


Whigs on that great question. Thus he became Grey's Home Secretary 
in 1830, and succeeded Grey as First Lord of the Treasury in June 
1834. He found his colleagues a difficult team to drive ; John Russell, 
Durham, and Brougham would have bolted from a firmer hand than 
Melbourne's, and O'Connell ran loose and kicking alongside. Thus the 
Prime Minister was glad to resign in November, and sorry to come in 
again, on Peel's failure, in the following April. His second Ministry 
was marked by the Municipal Corporations Reform Act, and by 
a firm administration of Ireland, but by little else. Troubles were 
ahead in Canada, and were increasing when Victoria ascended the 
throne. Early in 1839 Melbourne was defeated by Peel, whose 
forbearance and even support had really kept him in office. Peel 
being unable, owing to the ' Bedchamber question ' , to form a Govern- 
ment, Melbourne came back for a third tenure of power. The first 
Afghan War and the rising hostility of France troubled him ; the 
question of the Corn Laws, to the repeal of which he was strongly 
opposed, troubled him even more, and in 1841 he resigned for good. 
Thus one is obliged to admit that Lord Melbourne was neither a great 
nor a successful Prime Minister. Still, it would be a mistake to 
suppose that he did not treat office seriously. Under the mask of 
wit and cynicism he had the earnest purpose of a statesman and 
a patriot. His weakness lay in his hatred of quarrels, his anxiety to 
compromise with men and to ' patch things up '. 

During his second and third tenures of office a duty fell to him 
which he was supremely fitted to perform, a duty which no living 
Englishman, perhaps no Englishman that ever lived, could have 
performed so well that of being the political tutor and confidential 
friend of the young Queen. She was eighteen and he was fifty-eight. 
It is only within the last two years that the whole story of Melbourne's 
admirable conduct in this perilous position has been given to the 
world, by the publication of that Queen's own Journal of the years 
from 1832 to 1840, with a preface of supreme felicity by Lord Esher. 
From the date of Victoria's accession to the throne to the close of the 


book Melbourne's personality dominates and fills that Journal. If 
Victoria, who had been brought up by ignorant people of narrow 
prejudices, and was herself endowed by nature with an autocratic 
temper, came to be the great, tender, wise, devoted Sovereign that all 
her subjects knew her to be, to Melbourne's wisdom, tact, and affection 
a large part of the credit is due. She loved him like a father indeed, 
he was the only father she ever knew ; he came to love her like a 
daughter, but without ever forgetting that she was his Queen. He 
spoke to her with astonishing frankness on every conceivable subject, 
and much upon her own conduct and duty. He chid her often, 
but in so charming a fashion that she would rather be chidden by him 
than flattered by all the world. When he was absent she was deso- 
lated, and fed even upon his official and Ministerial letters. She chid 
him too with sweet playfulness and seriousness, for not going to 
church, for his good-humoured cynicism, for a thousand other things. 
Not much gifted with humour in her own speech, she was well able to 
appreciate his abundant gift, and has recorded it with extraordinary 
skill. Greville thought it wonderful that Melbourne should have put 
himself under the restraint of conforming to the stiff, half-German 
etiquette of the Court, and could check his old habit of ' interlarding 
his conversation with frequent damns ' ; but there is neither evidence 
in the Journal that he felt such restraint, nor evidence that he used 
strong language in the Queen's presence. Once when she could not 
get her gloves on he said, ' It 's those consumed rings ; I never could 
bear them ' ; adding ' if you didn't wear them, nobody else would '. 

It would be impertinent, almost impious, to quote here more 
than a word or two from this idyll or two-character drama, in which, 
amid all the perfect dialogue, now light, now serious, the reader is 
always made to feel the shadow of the coming tragedy, when the 
fatherly mentor must quit the beloved pupil. The last words of the 
Queen's Journal are, ' I and Albert alone.' Lord Melbourne had not 
made the marriage, but no word of disapproval crossed his lips. 
Though he remained Minister for another year his life-work was done. 


The Prince Consort was unaffectedly glad to see him go. Melbourne 
declined all rewards and honours, even the Garter. He had been 
careless of his private fortune, never a great one, and was in embar- 
rassed circumstances. He had a stroke of paralysis in the next year, 
and, though he recovered from it sufficiently to appear occasionally 
in Parliament, he took no further part in public life. We may well 
believe that he carried with him into his retirement an aching void 
in his heart. 

Melbourne was among the few men who could stand up to Lady 
Holland, and give her as good as she gave others. Once he told her 
his opinion of her sex, and it was not a high one. It was his mis- 
fortune (or his happiness) to have a mind so vigorous, so sceptical, 
and at the same time so eager in inquiry, that it could be satisfied 
with no theory, no dogma, either of politics or religion. He saw 
every one striving after some ideal of progress or of reaction, and he 
felt both to be empty names. Perhaps his nearest parallel in English 
political life, both as thinker and statesman, was the great Marquis 
of Halifax of Charles II's days. Leslie, who painted him and delighted 
in his company, says ' his head was a truly noble one. I think, 
indeed, he was the finest specimen of manly beauty in the meridian of 
life that I ever saw. Not only were his features eminently handsome, 
but his expression was in the highest degree intellectual ' ; and he 
goes on to speak of his ' frequent, joyous laugh and deep musical 



statesman, was the eldest son of Sir Robert Peel, first baronet, and 
Ellen Yates. He was born in Lancashire while his father, a man of 
old yeoman stock, was building up a great fortune as a manufacturer. 
The first Sir Robert was a devoted adherent of Pitt, and was the 
author of the first Factory Act, for the protection of the workers in 
factories and mills. He lived to see his son reach the position to 
which in infancy he had dedicated him, that of a statesman guiding 
the destinies of his country, and died in 1830. 

Robert was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, and obtained 
a double first-class in the Oxford Class-list in the second year of the 
examinations for degrees (1808). He entered the House of Commons 
the next year, served as Under-Secretary for War and Colonies, 
1810-12, and as Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1812-18, in which capacity 
his rigid maintenance of the Protestant ascendancy procured him the 
nickname of ' Orange-peel ', and first brought him athwart the hawse 
of O'Connell. In 1819 he served as Chairman of the Committee on 
the question of resuming cash payments, and introduced the Act 
which led to their resumption in 1821, but he was out of actual office 
from 1818 till 1822, when he became Home Secretary and a colleague 
of Canning in Liverpool's last five years. There is no doubt that 
Peel must have felt himself to be a ' natural rival of Canning, even 
if he never acknowledged the fact ; and a great deal of his later 
political life may have been influenced by this unacknowledged 
rivalry. During his tenure of the Home Office Peel introduced very 
many valuable reforms into the criminal law, all in the direction of 
mitigating its severity and on the lines which Romilly had laid down. 
In connexion with this may be mentioned the establishment, during 
his second tenure of the same office in 1829, of the Metropolitan 

From the portrait by John Linnell in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 221 


Police ; he had already, when at the Irish Office, extended Wellington's 
Dublin police to the whole of Ireland, and thus laid the foundation 
of the Royal Irish Constabulary; it was in Ireland, not in London, 
that the names of ' bobbies ' and ' peelers ' originated for policemen. 

Until the death of Lord Liverpool in 1827 Peel had been a stout 
anti-Catholic, though his eyes were gradually being opened to the 
gravity of the question by the visible spectacle of O'Connell's influence 
in Ireland ; he resigned office on that very question on Canning's 
accession to power. But Canning died after six months of office, 
and was succeeded by the ' transient and embarrassed phantom ' 
Goderich. At the beginning of 1828 the Duke of Wellington and 
Peel formed the last ' anti-Catholic ' Government ; they began by 
repealing the Test and Corporation Acts, and then, to avoid a civil 
war in Ireland, granted the very thing they had taken office to pre- 
vent the emancipation of the Catholics in the United Kingdom; 
in his stride Peel during the same Government took and successfully 
carried fresh measures for the reform of the criminal law, and the 
reform of legal procedure. But he lost, on the Catholic question, his 
seat for the University of Oxford, which he had held for twelve years. 

The great question of the Catholics was no sooner settled than 
that of Parliamentary Reform became a burning one. To this Peel 
was as resolutely opposed as Canning had been, and, resigning with 
the Duke in 1830, he fought against the Reform Bill patiently and 
dexterously, but without violence and without a mistake in tactics. 
When the Bill had become law Peel, though his opinion on the question 
of reform never changed, accepted the settlement as final, and set to 
work to build up a ' Conservative ' party on the ruins of the old Tory 
party. The famous ' Tamworth Manifesto ' issued to his own con- 
stituents in 1834 has been called the Charter of this new body. Tnis 
reconstruction was the most eminent success of Peel's life, and to this 
success his true fame is due. Events played into his hands ; the Bill 
had gone further than moderate Whigs liked, and there was in the 
House a dangerous knot of Radicals as well as the ever dangerous 


group of Irishmen led by O'Connell (an uncrowned King in Ireland) 
for them to reckon with. Against these men Peel, though in opposi- 
tion, may be said to have led the moderate Whigs as well as his own 
party ; he constantly supported the Whig Government even against 
the wishes of his followers. For Peel, though a strong believer in 
party government, an unrivalled ' parliamentary hand ', and by no 
means destitute of personal ambition, was, before all these things, 
a patriotic Englishman. On the first and unexpected fall of the 
Whig Ministry in 1834, Peel was hurriedly fetched from Rome, took 
office, with a majority against him, as First Lord of the Treasury and 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and held on for four months in the hope 
of turning the tide, then resigned, and resumed his protective watch 
of his opponents as before. Though these opponents had a clever 
man at their head in Lord Melbourne they were neither a united nor 
a successful Ministry, and their finance was very poor. Great dangers 
loomed in the near future, especially from the Radicals, who cried 
out for a ' People's Charter' and founded Chartism, and from the 
increase of population, which the cornfields of England could no 
longer supply with bread. In 1839 P ee ^ defeated the Government, 
and yet failed to become Minister because the Queen would not consent 
to change the ladies of her bedchamber. But in 1841 this difficulty 
was overcome, and Sir Robert entered upon his last and greatest 
tenure of power, 1841-6. He took office as an avowed Protectionist, 
and yet, after four successive free-trade budgets, in which, aided by 
the introduction of an income tax, he was able to reduce or abolish 
customs duties upon hundreds of articles, he swept away the Corn 
Laws at a single blow in 1846. This was an astonishing volte-face, 
and was of course called an apostasy. It was only carried by the 
help of the Opposition, and most of Peel's own party voted against 
him. On the day on which the Corn Bill became law a combination of 
Whigs, Radicals, and Irishmen threw out an Irish Bill, and Sir 
Robert quitted office for good. 

He thereupon constituted himself the champion of the free trade 


which he had fathered, and aided to extend the principle into all 
departments of our commerce, going, as is now acknowledged, too far 
when he assisted in the repeal of the Navigation Acts. ' Every hour,' 
says Greville, ' added something to his fame and to the consideration 
which he enjoyed.' The Queen, who, not unnaturally, had conceived 
a profound dislike of him in 1839, came not only to trust him abso- 
lutely but to manifest a strong personal affection for him. He died 
of injuries received from a fall from his horse in 1850 at the age of 

Peel's was indeed a very remarkable career, and we can well 
understand why some of his contemporaries thought it a questionable 
one. It included three great conversions, or, if you please, surrenders. 
He had been bred an anti-bullionist, and had voted as such, and in 
1819-21 he suddenly became a bullionist and restored cash payments ; 
the result was a sound currency, and his achievement was crowned 
by his Bank Charter Act in 1844. He had been bred an anti-Catholic ; 
and he carried Catholic Emancipation. There was no question of 
conviction here; it was a deliberate and open-eyed surrender to 
avoid a civil war, but it was a surrender also to the principles of 
justice and equity. He had been bred a champion of the Corn Laws ; 
and he ended his public life by abolishing them. Here, however, there 
is a distinction ; Sir Robert had also been bred a moderate free trader, 
as Canning, Pitt, and even, in a dim fashion, Walpole had been. 
Without being a professed economist, he had been more or less a 
disciple of Adam Smith, and he had for long been absorbing the 
doctrine that ' the lower the duty the greater is the aggregate return '. 
Whether, but for the bad English harvest of 1845 and the coming 
Irish famine, he would have abolished the Corn Laws in 1846, or 
clung to some modified sliding scale, such as he introduced in 1842, 
we cannot say. But that crisis of starvation called for sudden and 
drastic measures, and Peel had the courage to take them. He could 
not foresee all their results ; and, then as always, his insight into 
immediate needs was greater than his foresight. 

H. P. IV Q 


The explanation of all these changes seems to be that Peel's 
intellectual capacity was very high, but that his mind worked slowly. 
His caution long resisted the dictates of his reason ; his prejudices 
were in the main sound ones, and were based on the prejudices of the 
British people. But when conviction came it came in a great flood 
of light and he was bold enough to face its consequences. 

To the praise of absolute disinterestedness on every one of his 
surrenders he is unquestionably entitled ; ambitious though he was, he 
knew that on the second and third occasions he was wrecking the party 
he led, and that its reconstruction, even in his own hands, was pro- 
blematical ; he knew that he would be called every evil name in the 
world, and, as he was a man of peculiarly sensitive temperament, 
he felt this acutely ; yet he dared to incur it. On the other great 
question, that of the Reform of Parliament, he was not called upon 
to make a surrender. What he would have done, had he been the 
only possible Minister to pass a Reform Bill in order to avoid a revolu- 
tion, we cannot say ; but certainly he would not have passed a Bill 
like Lord Grey's. Probably Peel always felt that the House of Com- 
mons suffered great intellectual loss, great loss of independence and 
usefulness, by the Reform Bill ; felt too that the cry for a wider franchise, 
upon a still lower intellectual basis, would go on and increase ; and 
this prospect he cannot have liked. But a man must work with the 
tools he has, and Peel set to work to make the best of the reformed 
House of Commons. 

Happily for his history he was spared the solution of any great 
foreign problem, as he held power, whether in office or opposition, 
only during the years of European peace ; but it is worth noticing 
that Great Britain was never more respected abroad than when he 
was in power. The misunderstandings with France and America 
which had threatened to be serious in 1840 vanished when he became 
Prime Minister in 1841. 

There is another point to be considered in Peel. This great 
opportunist, if such an evil name can ever be applied to a true states- 


man, was a man of cold ungracious manner, was sprung of manufactur- 
ing and yeoman race, spoke with a distinct Lancashire accent, was 
a bad courtier, was very prone to take offence, and he made two 
' great refusals ' which shocked the honourable prejudices and threat- 
ened the supremacy of the British aristocracy. It was natural there- 
fore, and at times it became clear, that Peel was regarded with mistrust 
by that aristocracy. Greville, with a high appreciation of his states- 
manship, yet points out the terror and amazement which his succes- 
sive surrenders brought about. But it was mistrust of a totally different 
kind from that with which these very men had regarded Canning, 
who had never made surrender at all. No suggestion of loss of honour 
was ever made against Peel before Disraeli arose ; and the Disraeli 
of those days did not for one moment represent the opinions of the 
British aristocracy. The Duke of Wellington, who did, and who 
embodied all its prejudices, trusted and believed in Peel to the last. 
The House of Commons, the reformed as the unreformed, trusted him 
entirely, and in his later years, on whichever side he sat, he swayed 
it as absolutely as he swayed his Cabinets. And men were quite 
right to trust him ; Peel was a gentleman to the core, and a man of 
stainless honour based deep upon morality and it is this that counts 
in the history of the world. 

Peel's private life was a very happy one ; he married in 1820 
a daughter of General Floyd ; she survived him by nine years. He 
had a flourishing and beloved family, the last of whom, the great 
Speaker, Lord Peel, died at an advanced age in 1912. Sir Robert 
made a fine collection of pictures at Drayton Manor, the house near 
Tamworth which his father had built at the close of the eighteenth 



Irish orator, was the son of a Recorder of Dublin, and was educated 
at Trinity College Dublin. He studied law in London, and was called 
to the Irish Bar in 1772. He got no serious practice, for politics and 
oratory formed the subject of his dreams. His friend Lord Charlemont 
brought him into the Irish House of Commons in 1775, and he at once 
made his mark by his eloquence in an assembly where eloquence was 
a real fine art. The tide of Irish Nationality, as yet quite loyal to 
England, had been rising for several years, and rose to a great height 
during the American War. Of every motion directed against the 
' Castle ', i.e. the English system of governing and exploiting Ireland 
in the English interest, Grattan was the ardent supporter and usually 
the mouthpiece ; he began to move for free trade in 1779, and for 
repeal of those Acts which kept the Irish Parliament in leading strings 
in 1780, and he wrung great and increasing concessions out of North's 
Government. The Rockingham Ministry granted legislative inde- 
pendence in 1782, and Grattan ' sat by the cradle ' of that brilliant 
assembly, whose ' hearse he was to follow ' eighteen years later. 
That assembly voted a large sum of money to him for the purchase 
of an estate ; but it refused to follow his counsel and to rest content 
with its independence. 

Mr. Flood began to move for more openly expressed declarations 
of this independence, and Grattan lost the lead. Did he thenceforward 
remain within the pale of loyalty and moderation, within which he 
certainly desired to remain ? It must be confessed that he occasionally 
overstepped it ; when Pitt offered, in 1785, perfect free trade with 
Great Britain in return for a regular contribution towards the Navy, 
Grattan carried the unworthy amendment that ' such contribution 
be not made till all Irish loans were paid off '. Not on this, however, 
but on the jealousy of the British merchants, was Pitt's noble scheme 





> .2 





- > 

5 | 

~ r t 

'~ m 


p. 228 


wrecked. On the Regency question in 1789 Grattan naturally took 
Fox's view, and carried resolutions which might logically have led 
to Ireland having a different Regent from Great Britain. As the 
French Revolution began to stir the depths of Irish society, Grattan 
energetically and rightly fought for two great objects reform of the 
Irish House of Commons, and emancipation of the Catholics ; the 
Government wished to grant the latter, and gave the franchise but 
without seats in the Houses, to the Catholics ; it dared not grant the 
former. Fanned by French machination the Rebellion came in sight, 
and all 1795-6 invasion was expected. At such a crisis Grattan and 
his friends took the fatal step, never to be sufficiently blamed, of 
seceding from the House of Commons, 1797. This left that House 
more ' Orange ' than before, and it was only when the debates on the 
Union were already begun that Grattan, hastily elected, reappeared 
and poured forth torrents of eloquence against that most necessary 
measure. He fought one of the then customary duels as a result 
of an attack on his speech. In the Imperial Parliament for which he 
sat (at first for a Yorkshire borough) from 1805 to 1819 he made his 
mark as an orator, and steadily pressed the Catholic claims ; and he 
died in London, and was buried in the Abbey. 

Grattan was quite loyal on the necessity of resisting France ; 
he was no democrat, and only under extreme political excitement 
did he ever play the demagogue. He was also utterly honourable 
and incorruptible. But statesmanship, in the best sense of the word, 
was denied to him ; he was too much under the spell of Fox, too 
eloquent and too much in love with his own eloquence to perceive 
the true path of statesmanship, or to realize in what sense his words 
might be interpreted by men less loyal and honourable than himself. 
He had some prophetical instinct ; Lecky, in his Leaders of Public 
Opinion in Ireland, quotes his remarkable utterance about the ultimate 
results of the Union : ' We will avenge ourselves by sending into the 
ranks of your Parliament, and into the very heart of your constitution, 
one hundred of the greatest scoundrels in the Kingdom.' 



agitator, eldest son of Morgan O'Connell of Cahirciveen, in Kerry, 
nephew and adopted son of Maurice O'Connell of Darrynane, was born 
at Cahirciveen, and educated first at Cove, near Cork, then at Saint- 
Omer and Douai, where he witnessed with horror the excesses of the 
French Revolution in its first hostility to his religion. He was called 
to the Irish Bar in 1798, spent a lively and dissipated youth in Dublin, 
and distinguished himself in 1800 by a speech against the Union at 
a meeting in Dublin of the junior members of the Bar. He soon 
earned a good professional income, and at times a very high one, not 
only as an eloquent and impassioned advocate quite devoid of scruples 
or courtesy to his opponents, but also as a master of the art of cross- 
examination. Mr. Lecky considers that, from the very outset of his 
career, the young orator had repeal of the Union in his mind, and that 
even the emancipation of the Catholics would be made subservient 
to this end. O'Connell was not afraid to appeal, though Grattan had 
shrunk from appealing, to the mass of the uneducated people of 
Ireland, and he saw that these were to be dominated only through 
their priests. To make the priests thoroughly hostile to the Union 
and to make himself master of the priests was O'Connell's objective 
for seven-and-forty years. We may safely acquit him of any mere 
vulgar self-seeking in the pursuit of this objective. He did not ask 
for himself riches, or length of days, or the life of his enemies ; again 
and again he refused to be bought, or to accept office or place. Un- 
questionably he desired power, and to be the ' uncrowned King ' ; 
whether the intoxication of this power blinded him to the true needs 
of his country or not, whether he could ever have dropped the agitator 
and put on the constructive statesman, these are questions much more 


difficult of solution. More difficult still, in view of the subsequent 
history of the causes for which he agitated, is the question whether 
he would have rested content if he had been victorious, or whether 
he would have gone on, or let others push him on, after a repeal of the 
Union, to demand separation and an Irish republic. All along he 
professed, and no doubt sincerely felt, a passionate loyalty to the 
Crown, and an abhorrence of rebellion and bloodshed, but before his 
death the ' Young Ireland ' party had arisen which carried his methods 
to the logical conclusion short of which O'Connell had stopped. He 
died broken-hearted at the sight of this, but it is impossible to acquit 
him of having, however unconsciously, awakened a thousand spirits 
of hostility, and thereby laid the foundation of the political anarchy 
of our own days. 

The first plank in his platform was obviously to be the Catholic 
cause, a wholly honourable and laudable object. O'Connell was 
a really devout and sincere Catholic ; he was also in one respect 
a wise one, for, if he desired to give power to ignorant priests, he was 
no advocate for Papal interference ; ' let us have our theology from 
Rome, not our politics,' was his view. On the other hand he was 
unwise, and perhaps dishonest, in refusing from the very first what 
all the wisest English pro-Catholics, all the educated Irish Catholics, 
wished a compromise by which the Government should exercise 
a veto on the choice of Catholic bishops, and should perhaps take over 
the payment of the Catholic clergy. He could have bought a peaceful 
solution of the question much earlier if he would have supported 
these proposals, which Rome herself offered to sanction ; but he 
would then have forfeited his power over the mob and the priests, 
he would never have been ' the uncrowned King '. O'Connell did 
not wish Emancipation to be granted as a reasonable boon by the 
hands of some old pro-Catholic champion like Canning or Grey, but 
to be wrung from the reluctant hands of its old foes, Wellington and 
Peel, by the agency of terror and by the threat of revolution. 

It is impossible to go into details of this agitation which he began 


about 1807, nor into those of his many subsequent agitations, for the 
abolition of tithe (another perfectly legitimate and laudable objective), 
for the reform of municipal corporations, for the extension of the 
franchise, for the destruction of the influence of the landlords, and, 
above all, for repeal of the Union. The methods he employed were 
on each occasion the same. Agitation, as a special branch of political 
practice, was raised by him to a fine art ; the Catholic Association 
of 1823 was the instrument which first showed how supremely he had 
mastered this art. In order to slip through the meshes of the law, 
a law often drastically applied and strengthened by proclamations 
and Coercion Bills, he would vary the name of his Association ; but 
under protean changes of name, as under all temporary changes of 
objective, its methods were the same : ceaseless petitions, the language 
of defiance, the creation of a compact body of Irish members in the 
House, the raising of tributes or ' rents ' from the entire Catholic Irish 
people, monster meetings, the elimination of educated opinion ; in 
a word, terrorism. 

Against these methods Government after Government broke 
themselves in vain ; Ministers and Ministries went down like ninepins, 
the Iron Duke and Peel no less than the vapid and senile Grey, or the 
' Rupert of debate ', Stanley ; the poco cur ante Melbourne had to 
make the ' Litchfield House Compact ' with O'Connell, and was the 
first, but not the last, Minister to incur the disgrace of being kept in 
office by Irish votes. In Peel the ' Liberator ', as O'Connell began 
to be called, recognized his stoutest enemy, and overwhelmed him 
therefore with his foulest abuse. Not even when he traced the ancestry 
of Disraeli to the impenitent thief did he excel the flights of imagination 
to which he soared in speaking of Peel. To gain his Irish ends O'Connell 
fearlessly threw himself and his countrymen on to the side of the 
Radical party in England : he was no sooner in Parliament than he 
introduced Bills for universal suffrage, triennial Parliaments, and the 
ballot ; and he soon went on to denounce the House of Lords. His 
people, then naturally the most undemocratic in Europe, followed 


him blindly into this path ; Mr. Lecky takes him severely to task 
for this, and says that it alienated sober Englishmen from him. But 
O'Connell foresaw that there would soon come a time when in politics 
this would not matter, a time when educated opinion would cease to 
count on either side of St. George's Channel. Thus he was most 
cunning for the future when for the moment he appeared most reckless. 
He taught disregard for an ethical treatment of politics, as he taught 
disregard for the proprieties of language in debate. And he was so 
great a demagogue, so secure on his throne, that he could occasionally 
afford to risk his popularity by the support of minor causes actually 
hostile to his great cause ; thus he denounced, in a highly honourable 
fashion, strikes and the incipient tyranny of trades unions ; he was 
as strong an opponent of a Poor Law for Ireland as Dr. Chalmers 
was for Scotland ; he refused to utilize his own Mayoralty in Dublin 
for political ends. 

With the foundation of the Repeal Association in 1840 he first 
showed his whole hand. It needed some exertion to convert the 
moderate wing of his Irish supporters, but within two years his triumph 
was complete. Luckily there was again a strong man at the helm, 
Peel ; and the prohibition of the last of the ' monster meetings ', that 
of Clontarf near Dublin in October 1843, was a severe check for 
O'Connell. To his great credit the Liberator shrank from the blood- 
shed which would almost certainly have followed had he persisted 
in holding the meeting. It was the best act of his life ; and it was 
a grave mistake of the Government to arrest him immediately after- 
wards. He was brought to trial, fined, and imprisoned, but the 
judgement against him was reversed by the House of Lords in 1844. 
O'Connell came out of prison to find the scene seriously changed, 
his party weakened and divided, and the control of the movement 
passing into hands which would not shrink from bloodshed. His 
health was breaking, and, in spite of the enormous tributes and rents 
he had received during the agitations, he was in great financial embar- 
rassments. The shadow of the coming famine hung over Ireland 


when he withdrew almost suddenly from political life, went to Italy 
for his health, and died at Genoa in May, 1847. 

Foreign thinkers and statesmen who looked upon O'Connell as 
a great man and a whole-hearted patriot saw only the ends which he 
attained and those which he strove to attain ; they paid little heed 
to the means of attainment, or dismissed them as ordinary incidents 
in the party strife of ' that singular people the English '. Two great 
reforms were forced through by O'Connell's agency, the Emancipation 
of the Catholics, 1829, and the Commutation of Tithes, 1838 ; but 
in politics the end does not always justify the means. These reforms 
would surely have been, at no distant date, won by reason, not by 
passion ; they might very well have been so won by O'Connell himself. 
But the means by which he chose, for his own glorification, to win 
them were the setting of tenant against landlord, of numbers against 
intellect ; of class against class, creed against creed, country against 




son of the second Duke and of Lady Margaret Harley, was at Eton 
and Christ Church, and joined the Rockingham Whigs in office in 1765 
and again in 1782, on the latter occasion being Lord Lieutenant of 
Ireland at the date of the granting of legislative independence to the 
Irish Parliament. He had expected to succeed to Rockingham's 
place on that Minister's death, but had to give place to Shelburne ; 
he became, however, Prime Minister in the spring of 1783 in that 
' Coalition ' Government of Fox and North on which history has 
poured so much obloquy. Alone of those engaged in that Coalition 
he has been acquitted of all blame, of all factiousness. In 1794, in 
common with all the best Whigs, he joined Pitt in his determination 
to save England from the French Revolution. He did good service 
as Home Secretary from 1794 till 1801 in a very critical period of our 
history. He remained a member of Addington's Cabinet, and, though 
from January, 1805, without office, of Pitt's second Cabinet. Again, 
from 1807-9 he was Prime Minister in what was really Canning's 
Government (although it ought to have been Castlereagh's), but he 
was prematurely aged by his sufferings from the gout, and failed to 
reconcile, and even to realize, the growing divergence between the 
two statesmen ; their quarrel and duel killed him. He was a bad 
speaker, but an honest, upright man and a good administrator. 



(William George Frederick Cavendish Bentinck) was the son of that 
fourth Duke of Portland who is better known as Lord Titchfield, the 
friend of Pitt. His mother, Mrs. Canning's sister, was co-heiress 
of the famous gambler, General Scott. He began public life as the 
secretary of his maternal uncle, Canning ; he entered Parliament hi 
1828, but at that time devoted his whole life to sport of every kind, 
and especially to horse-racing. Here he rendered immense services 
to the cause of honesty in a field wherein honesty was then neither 
the best policy nor regarded for its own sake ; the straightforward 
way in which the greater race-meetings are now conducted owes very 
much to him, and in cleansing the decidedly Augean stables of his time 
he fearlessly exposed himself to a series of actions at law, and to 
considerable pecuniary loss. Yet at the same time, if his cousin 
Charles Greville may be believed, he himself practised all the arts 
known to the adepts of the Turf, not so much from the desire of 
pecuniary gain as for the pleasure of defeating his rivals ; ' he counted 
the thousands he won after a great race as a general would count his 
prisoners and his cannon after a great victory.' It is but fair to add 
that he and Greville had a furious quarrel over their racing arrange- 
ments ; the Editor of the Greville Memoirs has suppressed a passage, 
in which it is believed that their author gave details of certain dis- 
creditable racing transactions of Lord George. Lord George had been 
a moderate Whig, or at least a Canningite, until, and for some time 
after, the Reform Bill. Peel offered him a place in his Ministry of 
1841, which he declined for private reasons, but he supported Peel 
warmly till the latter threw over Protection in 1846. Then he veered 
suddenly round ; his sporting instincts told him that his party had 
been ' sold '. Disraeli seized on the chance of an alliance with a man 
who was believed to run so straight and was so much respected as 

From the portrait by Enrico Belli after Samuel Lane, be- 
longing to the Duke of Portland, K.G., at Welbeck 


From the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds. P.R.A., be- 
longing to the Duke of Portland, K.G.. at Welbeck 


From the portrait by Simon Rochard belonging 
to Lord Auckland 


From the portrait by Henry Edridge, A.R.A., in 
the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 236 


Lord George then was, and prevailed upon him to take the lead of 
a new Protectionist party. Lord George, ignorant of tactics, a bad 
orator, but a close reasoner, and with a good head for figures, dropped 
his former pursuits and simply lived in and for the House of Commons. 
He spared no invective, and showed no scruples in the use of it against 
his former leader ; he coalesced with the Whigs and compelled Peel 
to resign. The Whigs came in under John Russell ; Bentinck, as 
an earnest of his resolve to fight the new Ministry as he had fought 
the old, sold his stud, and injured his health by his application to 
business, but, at the end of the year 1847, he quarrelled with his own 
party over Russell's Bill for the removal of the disabilities of Jews ; 
Lord George always believed in, and fought for, perfect religious 
equality. He continued, however, to fight even harder for Protection, 
and his last parliamentary protest was against the repeal of the 
Navigation Acts. He died suddenly, it is supposed of heart disease, 
when out walking alone in the country. His life was written by 



statesman, was the son of a Durham baronet, was at Eton and Christ 
Church, was called to the Bar, and entered Parliament in 1774 as 
a supporter of North's Government. He was an active member of 
the Board of Trade, and took a great interest in all statistics connected 
with commerce. As Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 
he aided in drawing the Bill for trade concessions which North made 
to that country, and he held a small Irish office in the Coalition Govern- 
ment. When Pitt took office Eden returned to his work on the Board 
of Trade, and was of service to Pitt in many of his economic reforms. 


He was the negotiator of the Commercial Treaty with France in 1786, 
and showed great diplomatic skill in getting the assent of the French 
minister Vergennes to that treaty, which is now generally believed 
to have been even more favourable to England from an economic 
point of view than it was to France. He had several other missions 
to Spain, to America, to Holland, and did creditable diplomatic work 
on all. He was rewarded with an Irish peerage in 1789 and a British 
in 1793, and in 1798 became Postmaster-General, but had no seat in 
the Cabinet. He supported the Union with Ireland, but immediately 
began to intrigue against Pitt on the Catholic question and with 
that worst of all intriguers, Loughborough. George III saw through 
him and described him to Rose as ' an eternal intriguer '. As yet, 
however, he had no open quarrel with his chief, but when their Govern- 
ment had gone out in 1801, he suddenly attacked Pitt in the House 
of Lords for the very resignation he himself had helped to bring about, 
hinting vaguely at some ' mystery '. Pitt was naturally very angry 
and never spoke to Auckland afterwards. The attack was rendered 
more cruel by the fact that Pitt had been attached to Auckland's 
daughter Eleanor, and in 1796 had written to Auckland, declaring 
his love, but acknowledging that his heavy debts made a marriage 
impossible at present. Auckland had not displayed any eagerness 
for the marriage. Lord Malmesbury points out how gross was Auck- 
land's ingratitude seeing that he had received from Pitt ' obligations 
that no less powerful minister could have bestowed, and no one less 
greedy for office than Auckland would have asked '. It is probable 
that Loughborough, who was a relative of Auckland's, was at the 
bottom of much of this. Pitt repaid it, with splendid indifference 
to the ingratitude, by conferring a (second) large pension on Lady 
Auckland in 1804 at Auckland's indirect request. Auckland was 
obliged to write him a cringing letter of thanks, which Pitt never 
answered. So soured indeed was his Lordship, that his son, the 
future Governor-General of India, became a Whig when he entered 
Parliament shortly before his father's death. 



Governor-General of India, was the son of that first Lord Auckland, 
who, after being loaded with benefits and pensions by Pitt, turned 
against him at the crisis of 1801. His mother was a sister of Lord 
Minto, and thus Eden's interest in India was hereditary. He was 
a steady Whig, both in the House of Commons, 1810-4, an d after 
his succession to the peerage in the latter year. He was in Lord 
Grey's Cabinet (at the Board of Trade, 1830-4), and in Melbourne's 
he became First Lord of the Admiralty. In 1836 he went to India 
as Governor-General. He did very well in all the smaller tasks that 
fell to him ; he promoted education, the study of medicine, and 
relief works in famine districts, and he managed the Protected Native 
States with some skill. But in the great task that was thrust upon 
him he made either one big mistake, or else a series of little ones, 
which ended in a grave disaster. 

His uncle Minto had been almost the first British statesman to 
look with anxiety towards the North- West beyond the Punjaub and 
the Indus, and had sent missions of a diplomatic kind to the courts 
of Persia and Afghanistan. It was the French that Minto had feared 
(for Napoleon had loved to keep men's minds a-quake with grandiose 
talk about expeditions to Asia). That danger was now long past, 
and Russia had resumed her steady eastward march across Western 
Asia, which the episodes of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 
had interrupted. She was now intriguing with Persia for an attack 
upon Herat. A stout usurper in Afghanistan, Dost Mohammed, 
offered Auckland his friendship if Auckland would give him Peshawur, 
then held by our Sikh allies. Auckland preferred to listen to the 
exiled Amir, Shah Suja. The result was the mission of Burnes and 
Macnaghten to Cabul, the dethroning of Dost Mohammed by an 


English army, and the restoration of Shah Suja (1839). Auckland 
received an Earldom for his triumph and for two years all seemed well. 
But the whole thing had been done against the advice of those who 
really knew the Afghans and Afghanistan. Auckland might have 
withdrawn either before dethroning Dost Mohammed (for the Russians 
had already been repulsed from Herat), or after replacing Shah Suja 
on the throne at Cabul. If he did not withdraw he should at least 
have left a reasonably strong force in that city. He did worse than 
any of these, he left a small force under an old and incompetent 
General, and withdrew the rest of our troops. The result was the 
rising of Afghanistan and the annihilation of the British Army of 
Occupation in 1841. Auckland was preparing to take vengeance for 
this when he was recalled in 1842. He was First Lord of the Admiralty 
again in Lord John Russell's Government in 1846. He died unmarried. 



Speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of Dr. Abbot, Rector 
of Colchester, of a very old Dorset family. He was educated at 
Westminster and Christ Church, having a most successful academical 
career. He was called to the Bar in 1783, and entered Parliament 
in 1795 ; he was Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1801, 
Speaker from 1802 till 1817, and obtained a peerage on his retirement 
from that office. As Speaker it fell to his lot to give the casting vote 
on the resolution concerning the ' Tenth Report ' on Lord Melville's 
conduct as Treasurer of the Navy ; the scene, and the silent agony 
of Pitt, when Abbot, after some minutes' hesitation, gave his vote 
against Melville has often been described. 


From the portrait by John Iloppner. R.A,. in the 
National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Richard Rothwell. R.H.A. 
in Ihe National Portrait Gallery 



From the water-colour drawing by George Richmond, 
R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

H.P. IV 


From the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., 
belonging to the Marquis of Zetland, K.T. 

Face p. ?4o 


Abbot was a man of the most cultured intelligence, and, in spite 
of delicate health, which had led him to relinquish early a growing 
practice at the Bar, an indefatigable worker at everything useful, 
finance committees, records of Parliament, departmental reforms of 
every sort ; he would have adorned any office in the State, even the 
highest, and, though a strong Tory of the old school, he was thoroughly 
popular with, and respected by, his opponents. His Diary, published 
in 1861, is an invaluable source for the history of the period. 



financier, son of a Warwickshire squire, after some preliminary school- 
ing in England, was brought up by a relative who lived in Paris. 
There, as a young man, he was witness to some of the early scenes 
of the Revolution, but without losing his head, either physically or 
morally. He became private secretary to our Ambassador, Lord 
Gower, and returned to England on Gower's recall in the autumn of 
1792. Gower introduced him to Pitt, and Pitt to Canning, and he 
got Government employment (being, happily, bilingual) in communi- 
cating with the French emigres. He next became Under-Secretary 
at the War Office, and sat in Parliament from 1796 till 1801, and again 
from 1804 till his death. He was a statistician born, and had an 
excellent head for figures : thus, no Government could do without 
him until 1809, when his friendship with Canning led to his temporary 
retirement. He did not begin to hold minor office again until 1814 
His first seat in a Cabinet was in Liverpool's in 1823, he going then to 
the Board of Trade, for which post he was perhaps best qualified. 
Canning's death in 1827 left him the head of a powerful group, and 
under Goderich he became Colonial Secretary, with the lead of the 
Ministerialists in the Commons ; under the Duke of Wellington (1828) 


he at first retained this office. But he soon ' resigned without intending 
to resign ' over a small question of redistribution of seats ; it was 
believed at the time that he had not ' run very straight ' in taking 
office in Wellington's Government. Perhaps some of the reputation 
for trickery which always clung to Canning descended to Canning's 
follower Greville and Wellington at least thought Huskisson unsteady. 
He was a strong pro-Catholic, and was veering away towards the 
Reform party when he was accidentally killed at the opening of the 
Manchester and Liverpool Railway, 1830. His greatness consisted 
in the fact that he was a free trader before the time, his Reciprocity 
of Duties Bill being his first step in this direction in 1823 ; thus he 
was the pupil of Pitt and Adam Smith, and the economic tutor of 
Peel in this matter ; he made considerable reductions, as well as 
simplifications, in our tariff laws ; had he ever been Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, with a powerful Government at his back, he might have 
done much more in this direction. He was also profoundly versed in 
currency questions and shipping questions. 

Melbourne spoke of him as the ' greatest practical statesman he 
had known ', but mistrusted his honesty ; Greville considered him 
the Duke's most dangerous political opponent, and remarked on the 
fatality of his being killed in the Duke's presence. Still, ' no man in 
Parliament, or perhaps out of it, was so well versed in finance, com- 
merce, trade, and colonial matters, and therefore he is a great and 
irreparable loss '. Huskisson had two considerable pensions, and, 
though an impoverished landowner when he took his first office, died 
a rich man. 



nephew and heir of the Whig Prime Minister, Rockingham, was at 
Eton and Trinity, Cambridge, and took his seat in the House of Lords 
shortly after attaining his majority. He was an intimate of Fox, 
Burke, and the Prince of Wales ; but in 1794 went over to Pitt with 
the Duke of Portland. His only real title to fame is his brief Vice- 
royalty of Ireland at the end of 1794. Mr. Lecky, whose judgements 
on historical characters are always entitled to great consideration, 
lays the blame of the misunderstanding that ensued on any shoulders 
except Fitzwilliam's. The new Viceroy arrived in Dublin on January 4, 
1795, believing, or asserting that he believed, that he was to encour- 
age the Catholics to expect immediate emancipation. On the 7th he 
dismissed, or demanded from the Home Government the dismissal of, 
the leading members of the Irish Government, who were rootedly 
opposed to the Catholic claims. These were members or adherents 
of the families of Beresford and Ponsonby (Fitzwilliam's own wife 
belonged to the latter family), and Fitzwilliam was at once disavowed 
by the English Ministry. He quitted his office in high dudgeon at 
this rebuff on March 25. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 
Fitzwilliam was a rash, proud man, who had assumed, rather than 
ascertained, that he was to have a perfectly free hand in Irish affairs, 
and had acted on this unwarranted assumption. It is not to be 
supposed for a moment that Pitt and Grenville juggled with him 
in the matter, but, at the same time, Pitt, strongly pro-Catholic 
himself, had probably not made up his own mind as to the expediency 
of an immediate solution of the Catholic question, and therefore the 
appointment of a pro-Catholic Viceroy at this particular juncture was 



a grave mistake. It was a mistake that brought a fearful retribution 
during the next few years the Irish Rebellion of 1798. 

Fitzwilliam got over his anger ; he was in the Ministry of 1806-7 
as Lord President, but was quite undistinguished in that office. He 
gradually reverted to a more actively Whig, or even Radical, attitude, 
and had to be dismissed in 1819 from the Lord-Lieutenancy of York- 
shire for protesting publicly against the measures of repression of 
that year. 



the son of Chatham's celebrated doctor, Antony Addington, was 
educated at Winchester and Brasenose ; he read some law, and 
followed his young friend Pitt into political life ; he sat in Parliament 
from 1784, and Pitt made him Speaker in 1789. He was a good and 
dignified but not distinguished mouthpiece of the House for eleven 
years, and his career is perhaps the most conspicuous instance in 
which private friendship betrayed the great Minister into a public 
mistake. This incarnate mediocrity became Pitt's successor when 
Pitt resigned office owing to the King's unwillingness to allow Catholic 
emancipation to accompany the Union with Ireland ; Addington had 
George Ill's instructions to try and bend Pitt ; and, failing that, to 
take upon himself the two greatest offices of the State to be First Lord 
of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had some 
difficulty in forming a Ministry, and a temporary illness of the King 
in 1801 let the Whigs think they had got their chance. But this 
passed off, and Pitt promised his support to Addington in spite of the 
contempt with which his own younger followers led by Canning 


poured upon the ' Doctor ', as they christened the new Minister. 
It fell to Addington to negotiate the Peace of Amiens, and, for a time, 
the success of this gave him some popularity ; with the sturdy Tories, 
who somewhat distrusted Pitt as a reformer, he had always been, 
and always remained, popular. But when the war broke out again 
in 1803 the ' Doctor ' proved himself quite unequal to the task of 
conducting it, and Pitt's support veered round towards coldness, and 
early in 1804 to open attack, whereon Addington resigned. Before the 
close of 1804 Addington was reconciled to his old friend, was created 
a Viscount in 1805, and held office for a few months, but they separated 
again in July over the resolutions against Melville. Addington joined 
the Coalition after Pitt's death, but refused in 1809 to sit upon the 
same bench with Canning, from whose wit he had suffered so much, 
and did not hold office again until 1812, when he became Liverpool's 
Home Secretary. In this capacity, both before and after the Peace, 
and until his own resignation in 1821, he initiated or carried out 
several repressive measures against Radical agitators. He was the 
author of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in 1817, and of 
the famous ' Six Acts ' in 1819. He steadily opposed both Catholic 
Emancipation and the Reform Bill, but hardly ever came to Parliament 
after the death of George IV. Perhaps he is now best remembered 
by Canning's immortal epigram : 

Pitt is to Addington 

As London is to Paddington. 




statesman and Governor-General of India, was the eldest son of Lord 
Mornington, and the elder brother of Arthur, Duke of Wellington. 
There was a strong family likeness both in person and character 
between the brothers ; but there were strong contrasts too. What 
Professor Oman calls the ' bleak frugality ' of the Duke, his contempt 
for show both in speech and person, was conspicuously wanting in the 
Marquis, who loved pomp, and even extravagance. Both were at 
heart proud aristocrats, but they had different ways of making their 
pride felt, and the Marquis had the deeper feelings, the warmer heart, 
of the two ; perhaps he was even touched just a little with the French 
' sentimentality ', to which his long connexion with a gay French 
lady, whom he afterwards married, may have contributed. Each 
had the same passion for fame, the same personal ambition, but the 
Duke knew better how to conceal or to subordinate his own. Each 
at first helped the other much, and contributed to the other's fame ; 
but, whereas Richard had undoubtedly given Arthur the first start, 
Arthur showed little gratitude in their later lives. Neither was a very 
tractable colleague, but when the Marquis felt that he had been 
wronged he became, as the Duke never did, almost dangerously self- 
conscious. Intellectually it would be hard to say which was the 
greater giant ; but the Marquis had, so to speak, a resource on one 
side of intellectual pleasures that was denied to the Duke, for he was 
a linguist and a scholar among the very first of his age. This, coupled 
with a more domestic temperament, gave him an old age happier 
than that of his younger brother. 

The Marquis, after being sent away from Harrow for a schoolboy 

From the portrait by J. Pain Davis in the National Portrait Gallery 

pace p. 246 


disturbance, went to Eton and to Christ Church, and then took his 
seat in the Irish House of Lords, and, in 1784, in the British House 
of Commons. He would in those days have called himself a Whig 
but, then, so would Pitt. He was in early and middle life an advanced 
' Conservative ' rather than a ' Tory ', a strong free trader and pro- 
Catholic, a reformer of all serious abuses, and even an advocate for 
Reform of Parliament. He sat on the India Board from 1793, and 
went as Governor-General to India, with an English peerage, in 1797. 
His arrival coincided with the recrudescence of the danger from 
Mysoor which Cornwallis had not wholly averted ; it might easily 
now be rendered acute by help sent to Tippoo from France. There 
was also danger from Hyderabad, from the Mahrattas, and from the 

Wellesley's swift and skilful diplomacy and his admirable plans 
for the campaign conjured off these dangers in the space of a single 
year, and, after the fall of Seringapatam and the death of Tippoo, 
he restored only a small portion of Mysoor as a protected State to the 
old dynasty which had been evicted by Hyder Ali, the rest of its 
territory being divided between the Company and the Nizam of 
Hyderabad (1799). Wellesley was much gratified by being declared 
Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies, and showed his high sense 
of honour by refusing to accept a share of the loot of Mysoor which the 
Directors voted to him. In that same year Tanjore, and in 1801 the 
Carnatic, were annexed to the Company's territories by the deposition 
of their misgoverning and treaty-breaking princes, and so the map 
of the Southern Presidency was left by Wellesley very much what 
it is to-day. Another splendid piece of his work which shows how 
well he grasped strategy on the world-map as a whole was the dispatch 
of David Baird with an Indian contingent to the Red Sea, to assist 
in the campaign of 1801 against the French in Egypt. Further afield 
Wellesley projected (but was unable to carry out his plan) to use the 
British fleet to seize from the French the islands of Mauritius and 
Bourbon, and from the Dutch their colony of Java. Enterprises like 


these terrified the Directors of the East India Company, but one and 
all were, in the best sense of the word, measures for the defence of our 
Indian Empire. 

The north of India itself presented greater difficulties than the 
south, although the danger from an aggressive Afghan called Zemaun 
was staved off by a mission to the Court of Persia, which was still 
able to impose its will upon Afghanistan. Oude was strengthened 
by our taking in hand the defence of its Nabob's territory at the price 
of the cession of Rohilkhand and the Doab. And before the real foe, 
the Mahrattas, had to be met in the field, Wellesley had, with splendid 
disobedience, refused to carry out the terms of the Peace of Amiens 
in so far as they included the restoration of Pondichery to France. 
A Pondichery refortified by Bonaparte would probably have been 
a rallying point for all the hostile elements of Indian life, and Wellesley 
rightly believed that the war with France would soon begin again. 
But it was an extremely daring thing on his part to refuse to fulfil 
a treaty made by the British Government. 

More daring still was his action with regard to the Mahrattas. 
All previous Governors-General, and especially Hastings, the greatest 
of all, had been for letting them alone. But every one knew that the 
conflict with them could not be indefinitely deferred, and it must be 
remembered that, when in 1802 Wellesley took up their challenge, 
Great Britain was at peace with France. But Wellesley himself 
thought that peace was not likely to be of long duration, and Castle- 
reagh at home was strongly opposed to the forward policy in India 
at such a time. Wellesley, however, accepted the Mahratta challenge 
by espousing the cause of the deposed Peishwa of Poona, and by 
a subsidiary treaty with Baroda. The result was the Second Mahratta 
War, with Arthur Wellesley's great victories of Ahmednugger, 
Assaye, and Argaum, Lake's capture of Delhi and victories of Laswaree, 
Furruckabad, and Deig. But there was also the disaster to Colonel 
Monson's force in the retreat from Rampoor which led the home 
Government and the Directors of the Company, who had never liked 


the war at all, to recall their ' great pro-consul ' and to reverse his 
policy a mistake infinitely greater than any persistence in it could 
possibly have been. Again, however, we must remember that the 
date was the beginning of 1805, the invasion scare was at its height, 
and Trafalgar still nine months away. Wellesley sailed for home in 
August, 1805. 

He had offended his nominal masters in Leadenhall Street in other 
ways besides his grasp of Imperial policy. He had employed in 
diplomatic missions a man who was not in their service, his own very 
able brother Henry, afterwards Lord Cowley ; he had built a great 
palace at Calcutta, and maintained semi-regal state therein ; he had 
slashed and scarified in his dispatches the ignorance and unfitness of 
the lower grades of the civil service, and had urgently pressed for the 
foundation of a College at Calcutta to train them in the arts of govern- 
ment. Consequently the Directors were not a little pleased when 
a violent Whig, who had made a fortune in India and had a private 
grievance against the Marquis, proposed in the House of Commons 
to impeach him on his return ; the bad tradition of the treatment of 
Hastings was bearing its natural fruit. The Whig Government of 
1806 was quite ready to agree to this, but no serious steps to follow 
it up were taken ; even Fox, now in his last year, felt that it would 
be a mistake. The proposal was, however, left to smoulder for two 
whole years, and in 1808, when it was at last pressed to a division, 
an enormous majority voted against any proceedings. But Wellesley 
always felt that he had been ill-treated, and that an Irish Marquisate 
(which he received after the Mysoor War) was an inadequate reward 
for his great services. 

He had still a long career before him. He went in 1809 as Am- 
bassador to the Spanish Junta to assist his brother Arthur in the 
Peninsular War ; he became Secretary for Foreign Affairs on the 
retirement of Canning in the same year, but here he proved himself 
rather a troublesome colleague to Perceval, for whom he almost 
openly expressed his contempt. On the assassination of Perceval 


in 1812 Wellesley was asked by the Prince Regent to assist in forming 
a Coalition Government, and a few days later to take upon himself 
the lead and the formation thereof ; on neither occasion was he 
successful. Then for nine years he remained an onlooker and a critic, 
often too much of a critic, of the measures of Lord Liverpool's Adminis- 
tration. For he remained a steadfast champion of his own early 
free-trade and pro-Catholic principles, and now he veered back also 
to his own early advocacy of Parliamentary Reform. He even 
denounced, in company with Lord Grey, the breach with Napoleon in 
the Hundred Days. That was the opening of a breach between 
Wellesley and his brother Arthur, now Duke of Wellington, which, 
beginning as a political difference, became at last a personal dis- 
agreement, if not something more. In 1821 Wellesley accepted the 
Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, and held it for seven years ; he made, 
in an extraordinarily difficult period, a most admirable administrator, 
and, while sternly repressing secret societies and outrages on both 
sides, maintained order without cruelty and conciliated all that was 
best in Irish public opinion. He lost his office when his brother 
became Prime Minister in 1828, but resumed it in Grey's Government 
after the Reform Bill had been passed. He spent the last seven years 
of his life in peace and happiness, but not in wealth, for he had been 
the most disinterested as well as the most liberal of men, and it must 
be admitted that the contrast of the Marquis's modest home at 
Brompton with Apsley House and Strathfieldsaye was a striking one. 
The Duke had been scrupulously disinterested and honourable too, 
but upon him not only had ' lavish honour shower'd all her stars ' 
but ' affluent fortune had emptied all her horn ' too. Wellesley 
married an American lady of great intelligence and charm when he 
was already an old man, but he left no legitimate children. He was 
buried at his own request in the Chapel of Eton College, and his beau- 
tiful epitaph, composed by himself, is well known to all Eton boys. 



Field-Marshal and statesman, was the fourth son of the first Earl of 
Mornington and of Anne Hill-Trevor, daughter of Lord Dungannon. 
The family, whose name was originally Colley or Cowley, had been 
settled in Ireland at least as early as the sixteenth century, and the 
addition of the name Wesley or Wellesley dated only to 1728, Lord 
Mornington's title only to 1746, his Irish earldom to 1760. Arthur 
spelt his name ' Wesley ' till 1798. He was probably born in Dublin, 
but both the day and place have been matters of dispute. From his 
father he inherited some gift for music, from his mother, perhaps, his 
great intellectual power and his quick temper and cold heart. It is 
a remarkable fact that, in spite of the extreme importance of the 
subject, of the full publicity in which the Duke lived, of his very 
extensive correspondence, and his great gift as a writer of dispatches, 
no quite satisfactory ' Life ' of him has ever been written. All research 
of recent years has only tended to confirm the impression of his con- 
temporaries concerning his mental gifts and his devotion to duty, 
but his private character has begun to appear in a less lovely light 
than that through which the last two generations saw it. ' The path 
of duty was the way to glory ; ' and there is something cold-blooded 
in the way in which Arthur realized the truth of that fact from his 
earliest years. Napoleon was fond of talking about his ' star ' and 
his ' destiny ' ; Napoleon's conqueror would have scorned such 
bragging, but his knowledge of his own value to his country and to 
Europe, of the certainty of the rewards that he would reap, was 
prophetic, almost ' uncanny '. All his own greatest work was done, 


all his greatest risks taken, with cool calculation as to how they would 
affect both the service of the King and his own career ; and he was 
of all men most fortunate because the highest interest of the one 
ran even with the supreme good of the other. It would be, perhaps, 
not too much to say that he consciously invested his capital, that is, 
his gigantic brain-power and heroic courage (he had no other to invest) 
in the Bank of his Country, and reaped such a dividend as man never 
reaped before. 

And when the dividend had been earned and reaped he took 
all this good fortune and all his honours as a matter of course ; and, 
entirely without conceit, nay, with a real and obvious modesty, which 
may very well be accompanied by perfect self-reliance, he undertook, 
in many political crises and through long periods of comparative 
quiet, to serve his country in politics as he had served her in war. 
He was ready to hold any office, to ' go anywhere and do anything '. 
He did not do all his political tasks well, and often he had to go back 
upon his own tracks, but he still continued to regard himself as the 
man for the hour and for any hour. The result was that his political 
steps often disappointed his warmest admirers, yet often extorted 
praise from the most blatant of his opponents. Thus we have such 
a man as Brougham, at one time saying ' the Duke's first object was 
to serve his country, with a sword if necessary, or with a pick- axe ', 
and soon afterwards crying out that ' Westminster Abbey yawns for 
him '. Greville, whose brother was his private secretary, underwent 
the most remarkable change of opinions about him ; in 1829-30 he 
was to Greville an untrustworthy politician, ' confident, presumptuous, 
dictatorial, with a very slender stock of knowledge, incapable of 
foreseeing the future, not thoroughly true to any principle or party, 
with selfish considerations never out of sight, careless of the safety 
and indifferent to the prosperity of the country, preserving impene- 
trable secrecy, using without scruple every artifice,' and so on. Nine- 
teen years later Greville, reviewing his own Diary, decided to let the 
passage stand, but added that it would be ' wrong to impute selfishness 


From a mezzotint by J. R. Jackson after the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.RA., 
belonging to the Du'ie of Wellington, K.G., G.C.V.O. 

Face p. 252 


to the Duke in the ordinary sense of the term : he coveted power, 
but he was perfectly disinterested, a great patriot if ever there was 
one, always animated by a strong and abiding sense of duty.' And 
yet two years later, on the Duke's death, his praise is unstinted : 
' he was beyond doubt the only great man of the present time, and 
comparable in points of greatness to the most eminent. His greatness 
was the result of a few striking qualities, a perfect simplicity of char- 
acter, without a particle of conceit or vanity, but with a thorough 
and strenuous self-reliance, a severe truthfulness, never misled by 
fancy or exaggeration . . . the humblest of citizens and most obedient 
of subjects. . . . There was no duty, however humble, that he would 
not have been ready to undertake at the bidding of his lawful 

This last opinion, written when the Duke had already long been 
a ' legend ', should be carefully weighed even, against such criticism 
as Professor Oman's, which is the most recent on the subject ; but 
this too cannot be overlooked, though it should be read together with 
that of our other great military historian, Mr. Fortescue. Both these 
writers are of course primarily concerned with Wellington as General, 
but such concern necessitates some estimate of his character as man 
also. Briefly it comes to this : Mr. Fortescue sees in the Duke a man 
of a fiery, even an emotional, temperament, under constant control, 
but letting itself go on a very few occasions in outbursts of rage, 
and once or twice in outbursts of tenderness ; he even quotes two 
instances in which the hero showed lasting gratitude, yet is obliged 
to admit that he ' inspired admiration but never love '. Professor 
Oman cannot forgive Wellington his contemptuous words about the 
British soldiers, the instrument of his own glory, of whom he spoke as 
the ' scum of the earth ' ; and so he sees only the coldness and hardness, 
so lavish of blame, so chary of praise, so utterly unsympathetic even 
to his best officers. He paints his self-reliance in such ugly light 
as to show that he preferred to command docile officers of inferior 
ability rather than really able ones too prone to ' think for themselves '. 


Strangest of all such traits was the Duke's actual favour, shown in his 
dispatches, to ' sprigs of nobility ' ; and this is borne out by the fact 
that in civil life in his later years the Duke preferred to associate with 
' men of fashion ' and constantly neglected his own old comrades of 
the field. 

One imagines somehow that his life must have been most lonely. 
He was a lonely, shy, ' sheepish ' boy who never got beyond the 
' Remove ' at Eton, which school his mother's poverty obliged him to 
leave early ; somewhat less lonely as a lad of seventeen at the military 
school at Angers, where he made some acquaintances in order to 
acquire the French tongue ; and a lonely old man when he died at 
Walmer in his eighty-fourth year. For his wife Miss Pakenham, 
whom he married in 1806, he showed no affection at all, and they lived 
almost entirely apart ; for his own sprightly and clever children none ; 
for his elder brother, who had given him all the opportunities at the 
beginning of his career, a stony indifference ; to his mother (who lived 
till 1831) the same. ' No women,' he once said, ' had ever loved 
him ' ; if Greville's statement be true, he had had one brief passion 
for a woman in Spain, and many liaisons with ' women of fashion, 
whose weaknesses have never been known, though perhaps suspected '; 
no doubt women courted him, and may have forced themselves upon 
him ; he was always ' the beau ', and he displayed, in his old age, 
a charming old-fashioned gallantry with many ladies, which was quite 
innocent, but brought him into some ridicule. One true and attached 
friend he possessed in that period, Charles Arbuthnot, who, after the 
death of his second wife (to whom also the Duke was attached), came 
to live with him as a confidential friend, and predeceased him by only 
two years. Wellington ' had a perfect genius for discomfort ', says 
Mr. Fortescue, speaking of the darkness, meanness, and coldness of his 
private rooms at Apsley House and Strathfieldsaye ; and Professor 
Oman happily speaks of his ' bleak frugality '. His striking contempt 
for popularity, and his habit of completely ignoring the crowds that 
followed him wherever he went, rested, beyond question, upon his 


profound political Toryism. He despised the ' people ', and he hated 
democracy with a well-reasoned hatred based upon knowledge and 
experience ; and he was far too proud and honourable a man to 
conceal this opinion. But he was outwardly courteous to every one 
who sought his advice ; he opened all his letters himself, and answered 
even the most trivial himself and immediately ; he gave largely, 
and far too recklessly, in charity to almost any one who begged 
from him. Only in his old age did he become intractable and 
irritable, and even this was shown chiefly to his own immediate 

If we now turn to consider him as a soldier, it is a very different 
Wellington that confronts us. In Flanders, 1793-5, he commanded 
the 33rd, through a campaign of defeat ending in the disastrous 
retreat on and through Holland to North Germany ; there he learned 
' how not to do it ', learned the weaknesses of the Army which he 
was afterwards to use with such effect. Then in his eight years of 
Indian service, at Seringapatam, at his chase of Dhoondia, in the 
Mahratta War with his victories of Ahmednugger, Assaye, and Argaum, 
he rose to the first rank, and he learned the priceless lesson how to be 
his own quarter-master, his own commissariat- and transport-officer, 
his own diplomatist and manager of civilian mankind as well as of 
fifty thousand soldiers. His next active service was at Copenhagen 
in 1807, where he easily drove back the Danes and arranged the 
terms of peace. Then came his great chance the Peninsular War, 
the details of which need no recapitulation here. But it must be 
remembered that when he went to Spain he passed only for a cold 
ambitious aristocrat, hated both in the Army and in the country. 
No one here realized his great services in India ; ' his appointment 
was a job ', such was the verdict of the yelping Whig press and of 
Whigs in Parliament. But, from the very hour of his appointment, 
he almost prophesied the whole course of the war, what he would do, 
and how he would do it, and what the effect upon world-strategy 
would be. And when he got to Portugal he displayed not only that 


perfect mastery of the defensive, that patient Fabius-like strategy 
which is for ever associated with his name, but also a capacity for 
rapid and daring strokes like that of Salamanca, a capacity for com- 
plete mystification of his enemy, for choosing his own ground, and his 
own time to fight, to retreat, to besiege, to throw away men or to 
husband them. The French never knew where he was, and always 
miscalculated his strength ; he knew all about them, and knew exactly 
how long they could stay in any given place. As he once told a friend, 
his life had been spent in ' guessing what was on the other side of 
a hill '. Also it had been spent in divining the characters of opponents ; 
Wellington knew that Victor would almost certainly act again as he 
had acted at Talavera ; that Marmont's impatience would spoil his 
game in 1812 ; that Soult's caution would be a factor in the strategy 
of Sororen. That our sieges in the Peninsular War were less successful 
than our battles was not Wellington's fault but the fault of the 
British military system, in which the Engineers' corps was in its 
infancy and the supply of heavy guns wofully short ; the result 
was that costly escalades had to take the place of sieges, as at Ciudad 
Rodrigo, Badajoz, Burgos, and San Sebastian. The greatest of his 
campaigns was undoubtedly that of May-June 1813, ending in 
Vittoria. In his next service, in 1815, the Duke has been accused of 
a mistake at Waterloo namely that he wasted a large detachment 
of 18,000 troops in guarding the road by Hal ; but he afterwards 
defended this disposition very reasonably, arguing that he had not 
dared to leave his right wholly uncovered. Moreover, 10,000 out of 
these 18,000 were Dutch-Belgians, who were perhaps safer at Hal 
than at Waterloo. He had really too few men in that campaign, 
and too few of them were veterans, ' it was the worst army he ever 
commanded '. But the result of the battle was forty years of peace 
in Europe, and it was Wellington who won it. 

In his civilian capacity Wellington acted from 1787-93 as aide- 
de-camp to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland ; sat in the Irish House 
of Commons, 1790-5 ; in the British House, 1806-7-8 ; was Chief 


Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 1807-8, and in that 
capacity rightly judged that ' no political measures would alter the 
[hostile] temper of the Irish people '. He had received his K.C.B. 
for his Indian services, and his first peerage for Talavera, but he did 
not take his seat in the House of Lords till after the Peace of 1814, 
when he was made a Duke. He went as Ambassador to Paris in July, 
1814, and to the Congress of Vienna in February, 1815, a month before 
the news of Napoleon's escape from Elba. After Waterloo he occupied 
Paris, restored Louis XVIII, and protected France against German 
rapacity and vengeance. He remained in command of the ' Army of 
Occupation ' in France till 1818, and it was owing to his firmness and 
tact that that force was able to be withdrawn at that early date. 
He attended the Congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1818, and Verona, 
1822, as representative of Great Britain. If he disliked democracy 
in all its forms he had little more sympathy with military despotism 
of the ' Holy Alliance ' type ; what he wanted was that a country 
should be well and reasonably governed by the ' best people ' in rank 
and fortune, but at all costs that it should be ' governed and not let 
run loose '. All this time the Duke had a seat in the British Cabinet 
as Master-General of the Ordnance. He went to St. Petersburg in 
1826 to congratulate Nicholas I on his accession. He succeeded the 
Duke of York as Commander-in-Chief in 1827, resigned that office 
when Canning came in, and resumed it when Canning died in the 
same year ; he became Prime Minister in succession to Goderich in 
1828, and again resigned the Command-in-Chief (to Lord Hill). He 
thoroughly distrusted Canning, yet with brave inconsistency, the 
honourable motives of which most people failed to discover, was quite 
ready to act with Canning and his party, if thereby men whose views 
he disliked even more could be kept out of power. In truth he hated 
' parties ' and party government, and yet had to use it, and often to 
allow himself to be used by it. His own was a weak and divided 
Government, and the crisis, 1828-30, was acute. To avert worse 
evils, he had to repeal the Test and Corporation Acts, and, still more 


against his will, to grant Catholic Emancipation in 1829. In that year 
the Duke became Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and added Walmer 
Castle, henceforth his favourite home, to Apsley House and Strath- 
fieldsaye ; in that year too occurred his rather ridiculous duel with 
Lord Winchilsea, concerning which Greville considered that the Duke 
lowered himself by noticing such a half-crazy man. 

The Duke fought valiantly, and with full prescience of its conse- 
quences, against the Reform movement, 1830-2 ; he foresaw that 
that movement would not stop at such measures as Lord Grey advo- 
cated foresaw, in fact, the political anarchy of our own days. But 
he was obliged to resign office, and to lead the opposition to Grey as 
long as it was possible ; when he gave way, he did so, as he believed, 
to avoid an actual civil war. In 1834, on the fall of Lord Grey, in 
order that ' the King's Government should be carried on ' (his own 
phrase), the Duke ' held all the offices of State at once ' for three 
weeks ; that is to say he became both Secretary of State and First 
Lord of the Treasury, and also conducted the business of the other 
departments, until Peel's return from Italy for his short-lived Ministry. 
He sat in Peel's second (1841) Cabinet, but without office ; succeeded 
again in 1842, on Hill's death, to the Command-in-Chief, and reso- 
lutely opposed all innovations in the Army, of which he was most 
anxious to save the direct control for the Crown. He urged, with 
all his force, and never ceased to urge till his death, that great increases 
in our forces were necessary, that it was vain to trust to any system 
of foreign alliances, and that the defence of the country was the one 
thing politicians ought to consider. It was the one thing they united 
to ignore, and he was listened to with no more attention than Lord 
Roberts receives to-day. He opposed as long as he could Peel's 
measures of free trade in corn (1846), and went, for the last time, out of 
office with Peel after they had been passed. 

He took, in his eightieth year, full responsibility for all measures 
for protecting London against the howling mob of the Chartists in 
April, 1848. This was the last, but not the least, of his mighty services 


to his country. He died almost suddenly at Walmer in September, 
1852, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral two months later. An 
eye-witness of the funeral once told the present writer that the emotion 
of the vast crowd that thronged the streets of London on that occasion 
was the ' most tragic, most terrible thing imaginable '. 



General and Commander-in-Chief, was the son of Sir John Hill, Bart., 
of a very old family of Shropshire squires, and of Mary Chambre. 
He was one of a large family, was educated at a private school at 
Chester, and entered the Army in 1790. He saw active service at 
Toulon in 1793, at Minorca in 1798, in Egypt in 1801, being wounded 
in the last of these campaigns. He was an admirable disciplinarian, 
and brought his own regiment, the goth, which adored him, to a high 
point of training. He had a brigade in the abortive expedition to the 
Weser in 1805, but his first great opportunity of distinction came in 
1808, when he went as one of Sir Arthur Wellesley's brigadiers to 
Portugal, in the battles of Roliga and Vimeiro. Moore found him in 
Portugal, and he commanded a brigade in the campaign of Corunna. 
Returning to the Peninsula in 1809, he was at first under Cradock, 
and then helped Wellesley to drive Soult from Oporto over the Spanish 
border. He had a division at Talavera, where he was for a moment 
in great danger and received a wound ; and in 1810 was stationed on 
the Tagus, in command of the second division, at first at and about 
Abrantes on the Portuguese frontier, and afterwards, when Wellington 
retired within the lines of Torres Vedras, at the right-hand corner 
of their defences. At the close of that year Hill was invalided home. 



He returned in May," 1811, and performed a splendid service in the 
swift and secret march by which he surprised the French at Arroyo 
de Molinos, October, 1811. A similar service six months later was his 
storm of the bridge at Almaraz, May, 1812, which fatally cut the best 
line of communications between Soult and Marmont. In the cam- 
paign of Burgos, Hill was left guarding the Tagus, and joined Wellington 
in the last of his retreats to the Portuguese frontier after the failure 
of the northern siege. In 1813 Hill had the right wing, as Graham 
had the left, in the final advance along the great road, and commanded 
the right in the battle of Vittoria. He displayed skill and doggedness 
in the subsequent battles of the Pyrenees, and again commanded the 
right in the successive steps of the advance into France in the spring 
of 1814, performing great feats at Bayonne, Orthez, and Toulouse. 
He received one of the five peerages at the close of the war. Again, 
at Waterloo he had his old post on the British right, and so had under 
his command the famous brigade of Adam, which performed the final 
turning movement against the Imperial Guard ; but the Duke himself 
was immediately over him in this part of the field, so he had little 
opportunity of displaying independent initiative. He was indeed 
knocked over, badly bruised, and ' mislaid ' during the final advance. 
He was second-in-command of the Army of Occupation, 1815-18, 
succeeded the Duke as Commander-in Chief in 1828, and held that 
office till a few months before his death. 

' Daddy ' Hill was the best-loved man in the British Army ; 
although he has hardly yet come within the full view of Mr. Fortescue, 
the picture drawn of him by Professor Oman abounds with details of 
his kindness, consideration, modesty, and sweetness of temper. The 
Duke, who trusted few subordinates, trusted Hill more completely 
than any of them. Both as an independent commander and as an 
executant of Wellington's plans, this placid-looking, full-bodied 
English squire excelled alike in swift marches, in desperate dogged 
resistances, and in the very thing in which the Duke himself so often 
failed the following up of a beaten enemy. The Professor considers 


J "g 


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O -5 

Face p. 260 


Hill's victory at Saint-Pierre outside Bayonne, over Soult, at odds 
of two to one and in the face of fearful losses, his greatest feat. It 
was upon that occasion that he was heard to utter one of his two 
famous oaths (the other was at Talavera). He was a man of deep 
religious feeling, and declared on his death-bed that he did not believe 
he had an enemy in the world. He was never married. 



laird of Balgowan, by his mother's side of the Hopetoun family, was 
educated privately and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was devoted to 
every form of field-sport and to his beautiful wife, a Cathcart. She 
died on the Riviera in 1791, and her coffin was insulted and broken 
open by a Jacobin mob while her husband was bringing it back through 
France ; and he himself was nearly torn in pieces in the belief that he 
was a spy. Thereupon he, a man of the gentlest temper, of high 
culture, a first-class linguist, and by every family tradition a Whig, 
devoted his life, in the spirit of a crusader, to fighting Frenchmen 
wherever he could come at them. He gave much of his fortune to 
raise a light-infantry regiment, and served as a volunteer-colonel 
without substantive rank at Quiberon and at Yeu. He was with the 
Austrians in Italy in 1796, was at the capture of Minorca in 1798, 
helped to organize Sicily for defence in the same year, and to take 
Malta in 1800 ; he sat in Parliament from 1794 to 1806 ; he obtained 
substantive rank in the Army as late as 1808. He then followed 
his dear friend Moore to the Peninsula, and through the famous retreat 
and the battle of Corunna. As Major-General he commanded a 
brigade at Walcheren. 


He was appointed in 1810 to the command of our force at Cadiz 
and won the victory of Barossa, 1811, the fruits of which were thrown 
away by his Spanish ally. We find him next serving under Wellington 
at Rodrigo, at Badajoz, and at the first operations of the Salamanca 
campaign ; an attack of blindness invalided him home for a few 
months, but at the beginning of 1813, in his sixty-fifth year, he com- 
manded the left wing in the great advance through Northern Spain 
to Vittoria and the Pyrenees. His first attack on San Sebastian 
failed ; his second succeeded. Still with the left wing, he led the 
advance into France in October 1813, and fought his last fight in the 
campaign of 1814 in Holland, his raw troops being heavily repulsed 
in a night attack on Bergen-op-Zoom. He received one of the five 
peerages given at the Peace, but refused a pension. He founded the 
United Service Club, and spent the remainder of his wonderful old 
age in hunting, travelling, and breeding horses and pedigree cattle. 
He received Queen Victoria at Edinburgh when he was ninety-one, 
and won races with his own-bred horses at ninety-five. He was the 
preux chevalier of the British Army ; much as he hated Frenchmen, 
his humanity to them, when wounded or prisoners, was as marked as 
his ardour in the field. 




statesman, the son of Henry Lambton of Lambton, Durham, of one 
of the oldest- families in England, was at Eton, and entered Parliament 
as an advanced Whig for the county of Durham in 1813. He fought 
hard for all the popular causes till his health drove him abroad in 
1826. His favourite cause was that of which his father-in-law, Charles, 
Earl Grey, had so long been the advocate, namely Reform of Parlia- 
ment ; but Lambton went far beyond Grey in his views on the subject, 
and the Reform Bill which became law in 1832 must be regarded as 
a compromise between the views of Grey and Lambton. Whatever 
credit is due to a champion of the principles of vote by ballot, and of 
a widely extended franchise, must be fairly given to Lambton. He 
took a peerage in 1828, and held the Privy Seal in Grey's ' family ' 
Cabinet of 1830. He was one of the Committee for drawing the 
Reform Bill ; he wanted to force on a large creation of peers in order 
to pass the Bill, and, being hot-tempered and rash, he quarrelled with 
his aged leader on this subject. His health often accounted for his 
irritability, as it did for his ill success upon diplomatic missions, and 
for his petulant withdrawal from Grey's Ministry in 1833, when he 
retired with an Earldom. In truth Durham was too much of a Radical 
even for Brougham (who became much less of a Radical as soon as 
he got the Chancellorship), and the two had a violent quarrel in 1834. 
Melbourne kept Durham carefully excluded from the Queen's Cabinet, 
but sent him as Governor-General to Canada after the outbreak of 
the Canadian insurrection in 1838. His high-handed action there was 
disavowed by the British Government, and he was rash enough to 
appeal against this disavowal to the sympathy of the very country 


and people whose turbulence he had been sent to quell. The rebellion 
broke out again just after his return. But his famous Report on 
Canada issued in 1839 has become a classic for all those who wish 
to establish Colonial self-government : it displays such real breadth 
of statesmanship and foresight that it has been the basis of several 
subsequent ' Federations within the British Empire '. In the words 
of Sir Charles Lucas, the learned editor of Sir George Cornewall Lewis's 
Essay on the Government of Dependencies, ' it was the beginning of 
a new era in the Colonial Policy of Great Britain. Its immediate 
result was the Union of the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada 
in 1840-1 under "responsible government" a term almost unknown 
before that date and it bore full fruit when, in 1867, these two pro- 
vinces, since known as Ontario and Quebec, were with Nova Scotia 
and New Brunswick formed into the Canadian Dominion.' 

Thus this man, hot-headed, tactless and vain in his dealings with 
his contemporaries, has exercised by his capacity for seeing into 
' the beyond ' an immense influence upon the constitution of countries 
almost unknown when he wrote. That Durham did not write his 
own Report is not much to the point. It was written by his secretary 
Charles Buller (once the pupil of Carlyle), with the exception of two 
paragraphs by Wakeneld ; and it was inspired by ' philosophic 
Radicals ' of the school of Grote and Molesworth, who were friends of 
Durham's. But the courage of the whole thing was Durham's and 
he is rightly rewarded by having his name attached to it. Greville, 
naturally not in a position to see the distant future, but the shrewdest 
and most unprejudiced of contemporary judges, had the meanest 
opinion of Durham, and illustrated from his career ' the hollowness, 
worthlessness, and accidental character of popularity ', as well as the 
snobbishness of the democratic faction, ' who are not only wild to 
have a Lord for their leader, but must have that Lord who is the 
especial incarnation of all those odious qualities which they ascribe, 
most unjustly, to the order of which he is a member, to wit, pride 
and arrogance and an overweening sense of his greatness and rank . . . 



"""* L_ 




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Face p. 264 


the greatest enigma is how Durham has ever come to be considered 
of such importance, for, whatever may be his intrinsic value, he is 
a personage of some consequence in the political world. He is a clever 
man, can both write and speak well, but he has not been in the habit 
of saying much, and has done nothing whatever.' 



leader of the Disruption, was the son of John Chalmers, shopkeeper 
and Provost of Anster (Anstruther) in Fife, was educated at the 
burgh school, and went at twelve to the University of St. Andrews. 
He was a great, burly, rough boy, full of strength and fun, but 
quite idle until he was attracted to the sciences of mathematics and 
chemistry. He early determined to be a minister, and the fact that 
he had grave religious doubts did not seem to stand in his way. It was 
the ' Liberal ' age of the Established Church in Scotland, and, in spite of 
his parents' extreme Calvinism, Chalmers began both life and ministry 
as a Broad Churchman. He became a licentiate in 1799, visited 
England and preached his first sermon at Wigan, spent the next two 
winters attending classes at the University of Edinburgh, and became 
assistant to the mathematical professor at St. Andrews. He was 
ordained to the parish of Kilmany in Fife in 1803, and remained 
minister there till 1815. This position did not seem to him incom- 
patible with studies at St. Andrews, during five days in the week, 
or with two successive candidatures for professorships. He also 
studied political economy, and published an Enquiry into the Extent 
and Stability of National Resources, and an article on ' Christianity ' 
for the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia. It is believed to have been this 
last work, coupled with a severe illness and the loss of a brother and 


a sister, which awakened his spiritual instincts and converted him to 
the Evangelical view of religion. 

Converted, he at once became a powerful influence for the con- 
version of the Church of Scotland. He turned it back from the 
school of Dr. Robertson, from the vague humanitarian rationalism 
of the 'seventies and 'eighties, to a pure Bible Christianity, yet not 
so stern, not so Calvinistic, as that of the seceding sects which still 
nourished in many places. He brought to this work two powers : 
first, a fiery and magnificent eloquence in the pulpit, which could 
draw tears from his hearers and even from himself ; and secondly, 
an unrivalled power of organization and generalship. Before leaving 
Kilmany he had by his eloquence taken the General Assembly by 
storm, and had become a force with which the moderates would have 
to reckon. Thus when, three years after his very happy marriage, 
he was called to be minister of the Tron Church in Glasgow, he was 
already famous. In two directions, during his eight years' ministry 
in Glasgow (1815-23), he wrought immense good. In the first place, 
he determined, with characteristic audacity, to save his parishioners 
from the new and demoralizing influences of the Poor Law, and 
especially of outdoor relief. He organized a large army of helpers, 
and sent them on house-to-house visitations in the slums ; he raised 
voluntary funds on a large scale, and practically broke pauperism. 
He was the true founder of the principles of scientific charity, which 
have since been espoused by the Charity Organization Society all over 
the kingdom. He failed to get these principles accepted, and had the 
mortification of seeing, shortly before his death, the system of the 
Poor Law applied to the whole of Scotland ; but, in whatever else 
he may have erred, here at least he was surely working on the only 
right lines. In the second place, he brought the pulpit into the arena 
of the world ; he preached on the topics of the day on science and 
religion, on commercial morality and always with immense effect. 
He received a Doctor's degree from Glasgow University in 1816. He 
frequently visited Edinburgh and London, and extended his fame 


as a preacher, Ministers of State thronging to hear him. Half-way 
through his Glasgow career he was translated to the newly created 
parish of St. John in the worst slums of the city ; here for a time 
Edward Irving was his assistant. 

Having laid the foundations for so much good work in Glasgow, 
Chalmers was glad to take a comparative rest, and welcomed his 
appointment to the Chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of 
St. Andrews (1823-8). It may be doubted whether he had sufficient 
learning or culture to be a really great University Professor, but he 
had some ; and he could speak on no subject without illuminating it 
with flashes of genius. He took in his stride the encouragement of 
much parochial and missionary work in the little grey city by the 
sea. He never opened a class without prayer. He was profoundly 
interested in the endowments of the Scottish Universities, and pub- 
lished a pamphlet on them. He also published the concluding portion 
of a work which he had begun at Glasgow, called The Christian and Civic 
Economy of Large Towns. He refused the offer of the Professorship 
of Moral Philosophy in the newly founded University of London. 
This great ecclesiastical reformer, who ardently supported Catholic 
Emancipation and the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, saw 
no sense in political or democratic reforms, and was as stanch an 
opponent of the Reform Bill as Sir Walter himself. One's heart 
goes out to a man who expressed in the broadest Scots his ' moral 
loathing for they Whigs '. A University without a religious basis 
and without deep roots in the national past did not appeal to him 
in the least ; he came to conceive a passionate affection for Cambridge, 
the home of Newton (who was his hero), and for Oxford ; and among 
the honours he most valued was his Oxford D.C.L. conferred in 1835. 

In 1828 he became Professor of Theology at Edinburgh, and held 
the post until the Disruption in 1843. It did not seem to matter 
that he was not, and never pretended to be, a learned theologian, 
or that his lectures, which he published as Institutes of Theology, or his 
' Bridgwater Treatise ' might easily have been pulled to pieces by any 


moderately equipped German or English scholar. He had the philo- 
sophic mind, but he continually wandered from logic into morals and 
practice, and he could not help ' expounding in pulpit style '. In 1832 
he was Moderator, and in the next year introduced in the Assembly 
for the first time the celebrated ' Veto ' which eventually led to the 
Disruption. Into the history of this, apart from that of Dr. Chalmers, 
it is not possible to enter here ; sorely against his will Chalmers was 
thrust into the position of protagonist in the greatest schism that had 
rent any Church since the Reformation. Like that of many good and 
earnest men, his position was quite illogical ; he was passionately 
attached to the Establishment, which he regarded as the visible 
symbol of the Christianity of the nation. He had been most active 
in a scheme for building new churches, first in Glasgow and then all 
over Scotland ; he had raised enormous funds for this, and had suc- 
ceeded far beyond his own expectations ; he had also come strongly 
athwart the hawse of the Dissenters and the Whigs in his eagerness 
to get Government grants for this favourite scheme, and he regarded 
the refusal of the Government to assist as little short of apostasy. 
In 1838 he delivered in London a course of lectures on the subject to 
enormous audiences of the highest in the land. But he was no 
Erastian ; it was a moral union of Church and State that he desired, 
not the supremacy of the civil courts over the Church, or even the 
control of the Church by the civil organs of the nation. Unfortunately 
the law of the land was against him, and the decision of the Court 
of Session, confirmed by the House of Lords, in the Auchterarder case 
shattered his hopes. He saw his beloved Church in civil fetters, 
and thereupon he and four hundred and seventy of his brethren 
resigned their livings and came out, many of them penniless, into the 
world, May 18, 1843. 

Fortunately for the new ' Free Church ' there was a man of the 
will power and the driving power of Chalmers at its head. He devised, 
nay he created, the Sustentation Fund. If no one but he could have 
created it, in no other country but Scotland could it have been created. 


The ' New College ' at Edinburgh was founded, with himself as Prin- 
cipal and Divinity Professor ; and, as a mere example, he himself 
created and took charge of a Free Church district in the West Port, 
the worst slum in the town, and before his death saw it grow into 
a model parish. He did not live to see the Established Church attain 
the same freedom as his own ; but we can hardly doubt that, if he 
had lived so long, his voice would have been given for reunion. The 
pity of it all is that there was not, and never has been, any doctrinal 
difference between the Churches. If the Disruption can, by a stretch 
of words, be called a schism, it would still be a far too rigid homage 
to logic to call Chalmers a Schismatic. He died suddenly, while 
apparently in the enjoyment of perfect health, in 1847. 

It is difficult for a generation which regards pulpit oratory, and 
indeed all oratory, with well-founded suspicion, to feel quite happy in 
according the highest honours to one who made such an extraordinary 
reputation by his torrents of words ; but we must remember that 
words were then a real force in the world, perhaps the only force by 
which Chalmers could move the whole country. And, if we con- 
sider Chalmers apart from this dangerous gift, we shall see that his 
singleness of purpose, his passionate missionary zeal, his marvellous 
gifts of organization, his noble inconsistencies, and his highly enlight- 
ened views upon the burning question of the poor, place him in the 
very first rank of illustrious Scotsmen. 



journalist, was the son of a small Surrey farmer. Most of our know- 
ledge of his life is derived from his own writings, and, as is apt to 
happen to enthusiastic persons, his memory often played him strange 
tricks. But he was one of the most perfect, if unconscious, artists in 
homely English that ever lived, and his pictures of his early days will 
carry any reader away. He got little schooling then, but spared no 
pains to educate himself after he grew up. He had learned to read 
in the intervals of hare-hunting and boy-labour in the fields, and his 
first book was Swift's Tale of a Tub, price threepence. He often ran 
away from home ; and, when he was twenty, he very nearly joined 
the Navy. Next year he went to London, and, after a few weeks' 
work as an attorney's clerk, enlisted in the 54th Regiment of the Line. 
He became an excellent soldier and taught himself grammar ; he 
accompanied his regiment to Nova Scotia, and returned with it as 
sergeant-major in 1791. He then obtained his discharge and married 
a sergeant's daughter, who made him a devoted wife. He got into 
some notoriety for an attempt to prosecute three of his old officers for 
fraud and peculation. The facts are obscure ; he himself says that 
he abandoned the prosecution rather than get a comrade into trouble ; 
his enemies suggested that he was bribed to do so. He went to France 
in 1792 and acquired a working knowledge of French, and then with 
his wife to Pennsylvania in the same year. He says that Talleyrand 
applied to him there to teach him English, but that he refused the 
' lame fiend's ' request. Nothing at this time excited Cobbett's scorn 
so much as the Priestley and Tom Paine school of cosmopolitan 
windbags, and he denounced them in. vigorous pamphlets under the 
name of ' Peter Porcupine ' ; this name he affixed to his first news- 
paper The Political Censor and subsequently to Porcupine's Gazette 

a v 


Face p. 270 


and Daily Advertiser (1797). He was such a champion of his country 
that he got into trouble with the American Government ; an action 
was brought against him for libelling the Spanish envoy, and another 
for libelling an American doctor (whose treatment, by the way, had 
just succeeded in killing Washington). He was cast in heavy damages 
and returned to England, remarking that, in America, ' judges became 
felons and felons judges '. In England, being brought to the notice 
of the Government, he began a new set of Porcupines, which became 
the fathers of Cobbett's Political Register, published weekly from 
1802 till the editor's death in 1835. Its early high-Tory principles 
denounced the Peace of Amiens. In 1803 Cobbett began to edit that 
series of the Debates in Parliament which, nine years later, became 
Hansard. A Parliamentary History of England and a series of State 
Trials were also projected and begun. In 1805 Cobbett settled on 
a farm at Botley, Hants, and began to plant American trees, by the 
sale of which he made considerable profits. About the same time he 
began to veer round in politics, first, apparently, on the question of 
the government of Ireland. It was not in his nature to do things by 
halves, and it was in his nature to be always in opposition to the state 
of things around him, and to the persons above him. He was, in 
Goethe's phrase, ' der Geist der stets verneint '. His own name of 
Peter Porcupine was admirably fitting ; his quills were for ever up 
and were amazingly sharp. He was first brought into active conflict 
with the Ministry when he denounced a case of flogging in the Army 
in 1809, and he supplied evidence for the inquiry into the adminis- 
tration of the Duke of York as Commander-in-Chief. It is to be 
feared that he had little scruple in his methods ; and being brought 
to trial in 1810 he was found guilty of seditious libel, and sentenced by 
Ellenborough to a fine of 1,000 and two years' imprisonment. 

His imprisonment did not prevent the continuance of his Register, 
and brought him the friendship of such men as Brougham and Burdett ; 
naturally he emerged from it more fierce against the Government than 
ever. He became the leading agitator for reform of Parliament, and, 


after a second visit to America (from which he very ridiculously 
brought back the relics of Tom Paine, of old the subject of his biting 
scorn), the champion of Queen Caroline. It was in America in 1818 
that he published his English Grammar, a most entertaining work. 
Paper-money, landlords, the Protestant Reformation, the clergy, and 
the National Debt now became his favourite bugbears ; and his own 
bankruptcy for 34,000, with the loss of his Hampshire farm as a con- 
sequence (1820), led him to settle in 1821 as a seed merchant at 
Kensington. Next year began his Rural Rides, an account of which 
he wrote for the next eleven years : the book is still a household 
classic, full of virulence, unscrupulous perversion of evidence, and the 
most ridiculous ignorance and prejudice, yet full also of wit, and, as 
mere English prose, above all possible praise. He was again prosecuted 
for sedition in 1831, but the jury was unable to agree. He had stood 
several times for Parliament but got no seat till 1832, when he was 
returned for Oldham. He was listened to with respect, and only once 
flared up with the old pugnacity in an attack on Peel. He died at 
a farm he had recently taken near Guildford. 

His sincerity as a whole is unquestionable, but he saw all objects 
through a haze of prejudice and self-esteem ; he thought it impossible 
for himself to be mistaken, and he was therefore unscrupulous in the 
means he employed to gain his ends. He had a genuine pity for the 
agricultural labourer, a genuine sympathy for the struggling farmer, 
but both labourer and farmer must submit to be schooled by Mr. 
Cobbett. And Mr. Cobbett's ignorance of political economy and of 
a great many other things unfitted him to be their schoolmaster. 



commonly known as ' Coke of Norfolk ', heir to a great tract of sandy 
soil in North Norfolk, was educated at Eton and made the grand 
tour, sat for the county of Norfolk, 1776-84, 1790-1806, 1807-32, 
always in the Whig interest, and was made a peer (the Leicester 
earldom having previously been in his family) in 1837. In 1778, when 
he began to farm his own land, no part of England was so backward, 
in spite of Lord Townshend's early eighteenth-century experiments, 
as Norfolk ; when he died Norfolk set the model as an agricultural 
county to all Britain. His great intelligence saw the lesson to be drawn 
from French and Belgian Flanders it lay in one word, manure, of 
which he habitually spoke as ' muck '. He, before any English agricul- 
turists, saw and showed how stock-raising improved arable land from 
the valuable manure it produced ; the greater the stock the better 
the manure ; the better the manure the richer the crops. At first 
he had to spend much capital in the purchase of this great necessary 
of agriculture ; as his breed of stock, his ' Leicester ' and Southdown 
sheep, his stall-fed Devon cattle, his fatted Suffolk pigs, gradually 
improved, he became self-supplying. He introduced oil-cake, he 
planted enormous quantities of roots. He worked himself in his 
fields by tradition in the smock-frock and stimulated the energy, 
not only of all his tenants, but of all neighbouring farmers, for whom 
he kept constant hospitality. At the annual Holkham sheep-shearing 
feasts in Coke's middle life he might be found entertaining as many as 
six hundred guests of all ranks. He introduced twenty-one-year 
leases on all his farms, and, in defiance of Adam Smith's dictum, 
introduced into all his leases covenants that his own system of 


husbandry should be followed. He was a staunch Protectionist, and 
a champion of the unpopular Corn Law of 1815. But to hold a lease 
from Mr. Coke became the ambition of every progressive farmer in 
the country. Perhaps his greatest success was the substitution of 
wheat for rye as the staple cereal crop of Norfolk, and, in imitation of 
Norfolk, as the staple crop of Great Britain. 

Coke was a man of great personal beauty, an exceedingly fine 
rider and sportsman, but, above all, the prince of agriculturists. He 
lived to be over ninety, and ' a lusty old age became hereditary in his 
family '. His second marriage took place in his seventieth year, 
and he had six children by this second wife. Cobbett, who denounced 
most landlords, and occasionally this one, more than half admired 
him, and used to write of him as ' Daddy Coke '. 



explorer, was born at Spilsby, Lincolnshire, the youngest of twelve 
children. His father, descended from a long line of yeomen land- 
owners of Sibsey in the same county, had settled as a trader in Spilsby 
and made a small fortune in business. Two brothers of Sir John 
afterwards rose to distinction in India, one as a judge, the other as 
a scientific soldier. John, after a voyage in a merchant ship, joined 
the Navy in his fifteenth year, was present at the battle of Copenhagen, 
became a midshipman just afterwards, and sailed to Australia ; he 
travelled home in an East Indiaman which, with her consorts, fifteen 
in number, drove off by sheer bluff a French squadron of five ships- 
of-war in the Straits of Malacca, Franklin acting as signalling officer 
to his Commodore, Dance. He was in the Bellerophon (commonly 
called by her crew the ' Billy-ruffian ') at Trafalgar, and was one of 
the very few unwounded at his station on her poop ; the cannonade 

From the portrait by Thomas Phillips, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 274 


left him a little deaf to the end of his life. In 1814 he was at the 
attack on New Orleans, and in 1818, in command of the brig Trent, 
he entered on the business of his life as an Arctic explorer in Captain 
Buchan's expedition. The voyage, which was directed north-east- 
wards via Spitzbergen, had little result, but its objective had been the 
Pole. In the next year the young Lieutenant, this time in command, 
turned in the other direction, to an overland voyage in the territory 
lying to the east of Hudson's Bay, with a view to mapping the northern 
coasts of the American continent. With him were two men there- 
after to be among the most famous of Arctic names, Richardson and 
Back, and a young Mr. Hood destined to a tragic end. The party 
started from Fort York in Hudson's Bay in September, 1819, in the 
direction of the Great Slave Lake, their assistants being native Canadian 
voyageurs and Indian hunters, their objective the mouth of the 
Coppermine River, which flows into the open sea to the north-west. 
They did actually reach this river and salt water, but supplies failed 
and they had to retrace their steps in doubt and starvation. Nearly 
all their helpers died or ran away ; Hood was murdered by a half- 
breed voyageur, and Richardson shot his murderer. The remnant 
reached Fort York after three years of terrible suffering and over 
5,000 miles of travel. Franklin, who was now made a Fellow of the 
Royal Society, published on his return to England an account of the 
journey, married his first wife in 1823, and returned to his old trail 
in 1825. This time he was absent two years. He reached his furthest 
north and furthest west by way of the Mackenzie River, at Point 
Beechey, but was unable to round the Cape, which would have brought 
him to Behring Straits, in the neighbourhood of which he expected 
to meet a British ship, and was therefore obliged to retrace his steps 
overland. The expedition had been much better organized, the 
sufferings were not great ; the geographical results were very con- 
siderable and he was knighted for them. His first wife had died 
during his absence, and in 1828 he married a lady of fortune, Miss 
Griffin. She accompanied him to the Mediterranean, where he 



commanded a frigate, 1830-33, and to Tasmania, where he next went 
as Governor for seven years, 1836-43. Both Franklin and Lady 
Franklin were much beloved in this colony, and the prosperity of the 
lovely island owes not a little to their wise and humane administration. 
Franklin returned to Europe to find every one talking about the 
North- West Passage, the ' white gate that never was opened yet ' ; 
he believed that he possessed the key to that gate, and the Admiralty 
warmly took up his idea. The Erebus and the Terror, which Ross had 
recently brought back from his great Antarctic voyage, were com- 
missioned by Franklin and Crozier in 1845, and provisions for a three 
years' cruise were shipped. The course taken was the most southerly 
of all possible routes, Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Franklin 
Strait, Victoria Strait ; when that should be reached the gate would 
be opened into Dease Strait, Coronation Gulf, Dolphin Strait, which 
would lead to open water between Banks Land and Mackenzie Bay. 
The critical point Franklin believed to lie just south of King William's 
Land, off the coast of which his ships were eventually lost or abandoned. 
The last sight of them afloat ' all well ' was in July, 1845, in the 
entrance to Lancaster Sound. From that date till 1859 no certain 
news came through the barrier of the North ; but expedition after 
expedition was fitted out to search, some by the British Government, 
some by the United States, many by Lady Franklin at her own cost ; 
and in 1850, on Beechey Island, discovery was made of an encamp- 
ment with seven hundred abandoned meat-tins, which had been filled, 
presumably by the Government contractor, with food in a putrid 
condition. It is not, however, certain that Goldner, whose name was 
on these tins, was wholly to blame ; the principles of preserving meat 
in tins were not then well understood. Other evidence there discovered 
went to show that the sledging equipment had been insufficient, or 
that the principles, since universally adopted for sledge journeys, 
had been ill grasped by Franklin's party. In 1854 other relics were 
discovered silver articles possessed by the Esquimaux and tales 
were told by these people of starving white men. The final news 


was brought by the yacht Fox, Captain Leopold McClintock, and 
Allen Young, who found with many other relics a paper in the hand- 
writings of Crozier and Captain Fitzjames on King William's Land, 
narrating very briefly the abandonment of the ships in April, 1848, 
when they had been ice-locked for nineteen months, the death of 
Franklin in June, 1847, and many other deaths ; the last words (by 
Crozier) being ' and start to-morrow for Back's Fish River '. The 
Esquimaux told McClintock that one of the ships had sunk, with all 
stores, in deep water, and this, together with the discovery of the 
putrid, or presumably putrid, stores, explains the starvation which 
must have been the lot of their gallant crews. That Franklin actually 
did discover the Passage, between King William's Land and Victoria 
Land, is certain ; that no commercial or maritime use could be made 
of it is equally certain. The value of such expeditions as his, and of 
Scott's to the Antarctic in the years 1911-12, is not to be measured 
in terms of use or profit, but in terms of immortal honour and 
example. It is on record that Franklin took the command in the 
teeth of remonstrance, on the score of his age, at head-quarters ; 
' But you are fifty-nine, Sir John ', said Lord Haddington to him ; 
' Not quite ', answered the fine old seaman. 



poet, the second of five children of John Wordsworth and Anne Cook 
son, was born at Cockermouth, Cumberland, where his father was 
a solicitor and agent for the Lowther estates ; the family was originally 
from the neighbourhood of Sheffield. The poet lost his mother when 
he was eight and his father when he was thirteen ; he was sent to 
a good grammar-school at Hawkshead in 1778, and to St. John's 
College, Cambridge, 1787-91. He was a strong hardy boy and man, 
delighting in long walks and open air, anything but regular at his 
tasks, either at school or College, but already a wide reader in romance 
and in modern languages, and already dreaming of a poetical career. 
He visited France and Switzerland in the first happy year of the 
French Revolution (summer, 1790), and entered into the spirit of it 
as heralding the era when the joys of human sympathy would be 
unrestrained. A second visit to France (1791-2) only strengthened this 
feeling, in spite of the horrors of September, 1792, and Wordsworth in 
Paris very nearly threw himself into the political conflict on the side 
of the Girondins. On his return to England he published two unim- 
portant poems of little promise (1793). A small legacy from a friend 
and a house rent-free enabled him and his favourite sister Dorothy in 
J 795 to settle at Racedown, West Dorset, where he composed a tragedy 
called The Borderers ; about the same time (but the exact date is 
uncertain) he first met Coleridge, and in 1797 went to live at Alfoxden, 
near Coleridge's Somersetshire house of Nether Stowey. Their joint 
volume of Lyrical Ballads appeared in 1798 : in the same year occurred 
their visit to North Germany. In 1799 Wordsworth and Dorothy 
settled at Grasmere in the Lake District, and Coleridge came to 
Keswick in 1800, in which year the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, 
with some changes and additions, appeared in two volumes. In 1802 

From the portrait by Henry William Pickersgill, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 27% 


came an economic windfall from the death of Lord Lonsdale, who had 
always repudiated a debt owed to Wordsworth's father ; his successor, 
the second Earl, repaid the debt with interest, and became a kind 
friend to the family. Wordsworth thereon married Mary Hutchinson, 
a friend of his earliest years, of his own age, and of tranquil disposition. 
By her he had five children, but it was rather from his amiable and 
original sister Dorothy, who shared their home, than from Mary that 
he got full sympathy. In 1803 a tour to Scotland taken in her com- 
pany, and begun in Coleridge's, brought about a visit to Scott and 
the beginning of a constant friendship. Early in 1805 Wordsworth 
finished, but did not publish, his first long poem, The Prelude, descrip- 
tive of the poetical growth of his own mind, and intended to be the 
' antechapel to a great cathedral of poetry '. In 1806 came a tem- 
porary desertion for one year of the Lake District in order to make 
a home, in the neighbourhood of Sir George Beaumont, at Coleorton 
in Leicestershire. In 1807 appeared Poems in Two Volumes, with 
some of the most famous of the Odes and Sonnets. A quarrel with 
Coleridge, owing to some indiscreet revelations of Wordsworth's 
to a mutual friend concerning Coleridge's strange habits as a guest, 
began in 1810, and, though partially made up, was never wholly 
forgotten. After several other houses in the Lakes had been tried, 
Rydal Mount became in 1813 Wordsworth's permanent home, and by 
Lord Lonsdale's interest the poet was made distributor of stamps for 
the county of Westmoreland with a salary of 400 a year ; it was not 
wholly a sinecure, but did not seriously interfere with poetical com- 
position. The Excursion, intended to be the first instalment of a much 
longer poem to be called The Recluse, appeared in 1814 ; The White 
Doe of Rylstone in 1815 ; Peter Bell in 1819 ; the first sketch of the 
Guide through the Lakes (the well-known title only appears to the 
fifth edition, 1835) in 1820 ; Yarrow Revisited, and other Poems, 1835 ; 
The Sonnets (with additions) 1838 ; while the greatest poem of all, 
The Prelude, though written forty-five years before, was not published 
until the poet was dead (1850). 


It was The Excursion which first really made a noise in the world ; 
there had been plenty of criticism of Lyrical Ballads, and not all of 
it as unfavourable as Jeffrey's in the Edinburgh Review ; but The 
Excursion really announced that the new School of Poetry was a force 
with which champions of the old canons of taste would have to reckon 
in very serious earnest. Before long, ' Romanticism ' had definitely 
triumphed, the British public followed the fashion, and, sad to relate, 
came to consider Pope ' not only dead, but damned '. Wordsworth 
was an excellent hoplite in the strife ; for, though sensitive to criticism 
and irritable even to such friends as Coleridge on the subject of his 
own verse, there were united in him the stubborn temper of his own 
dalesmen with a boundless belief in himself as a really great poet. He 
had outlived his enthusiasm for the Revolution ; the last vestige of 
it dropped off at the date of the French attack on Spain, 1808, and, 
at the worst of times, it had never been an indiscriminate enthusiasm ; 
he had never felt the sacred fire of Shelley nor the bitter scorn of 
Byron, and though at first he had been unhappy at the Great War, 
his real patriotism saved him from any foolish sentimentalism. As 
time went on, he grew into a dogged country Tory, foresaw the evils 
that would result from the Reform Bill, and was benighted enough 
to object to Catholic Emancipation. Several tours to the Continent, 
and a last visit to Scott in 1831, only confirmed these opinions. In 
1842 the old poet resigned his stamp distributorship, received a Civil 
List pension of 300 a year, and the Laureateship, on Southey's death, 
in 1843. The prolonged ill-health of his beloved sister Dorothy from 
1835, and the early death of his own daughter Dora in 1847, were the 
only events that saddened the evening of his life. 

Coleridge's Biographia Litcraria (1816) was the first reasonable 
prophecy of Wordsworth's true place in Poetry ; Sir Walter Raleigh's 
admirable study (1903) is the last, and sums up effectively all that 
change of opinion which has gone to create a school of ' Wordsworth- 
ians ' since Coleridge's time. Beyond question it is a school, and one 
in which not every one is privileged to graduate ; but it is quite 


possible to appreciate a great deal which Wordsworth wrote without 
aspiring to be a whole-hearted Wordsworthian. Many people who 
know nothing else about Wordsworth are familiar with the witty 
lines of ' J. K. S.' on the 'two voices' with which the poet spoke. 
No summary, however, could be better than that of Mr. Mackail in 
his comparison between the critical powers of Coleridge and Words- 
worth : ' Wordsworth's greatness was in poetry, not in criticism nor 
exposition ; ... as Coleridge very justly points out, the opposition 
and obloquy, which his poetry for long encountered, were very largely 
brought on by his own prefaces. . . . Wordsworth thought and felt with 
great intensity ; but his experience of letters was not great, and his 
intellect lost in range and flexibility what it gained in concentration. 
Throughout life he brooded over his own mind, his own ideas, his 
own writings. He found his own life an unfathomable well (a " hiding- 
place ten years deep ") into which, as his eye grew trained to see in 
darkness, he could plunge deeper and deeper down among the springs 
of life. From those depths and they were inexhaustible he drew 
the water we may still drink, and which we shall not find in other 
vessels. But when he rose from them, it was with eyes that did not 
readily adjust themselves to the upper air ; and that is why he so 
often reminds one of an owl in the daylight.' 

Sir Walter Raleigh shows us the fallacy of the theory that there 
were ' two Wordsworths ' an inspired god and a pitiful driveller ; 
the poet's weakness, in the most apparently childish of his poems, 
is really the ' wasteful ebullition of his own strength '. It was quite 
as important to him to indicate that ' lakes are wet, trees green, and 
mountains steep ' as to carry his readers on to the serene heights 
reached in the finest of his Sonnets. Every oddity, every triviality 
that presented itself, seemed to Wordsworth worthy of record because 
it had crossed his mind ; ' he did not know a gem from a pebble '. 
It was a fault from which a single spark of humour would have 
redeemed his colossal egotism, but not one spark of humour entered 
into his composition. He was no master of language, music, or melody, 


but ' his noble, bleak, incomparable style ' was adapted to the height 
and the depth of thought ; thought, and thought alone, was the stuff 
of which his greatest poems are made. 

By no violent striving but by sheer self-contemplation would he 
wring her secrets from Mother Nature. To that end he was born, 
and to that end, after the disillusionment of his early manhood by the 
excesses of the French Revolution, he returned, and plunged himself 
deeper and deeper into communion with his native hills and dales ; 
and also, as he believed, with their peasant inhabitants. Here it is 
difficult even for the most enthusiastic admirer to feel that he was 
wholly successful. Can any poet, could such a poet as Wordsworth, 
really interpret the feelings of the wagoner or the leech-gatherer ? 
It must be confessed that he had some lack of practical sympathy 
(as distinguished from practical benevolence) ; he was, for instance, 
so sure of his own footsteps, so absorbed in his own work, as to be 
quite unappreciative of other poets, and even ungenerous towards 
them. That he had an absolute right to be this, no true Wordsworthian 
will question. 'The seer', says Sir Walter, 'is always solitary; and, 
for good or evil, it remains true that to reach Wordsworth's height 
of contemplation, to taste the pure sources of the solace that he 
found, and to be glad with his gladness, a man must cut himself 
off from not a few of the pleasures that come to the dusty, kindly 
traffickers in the valley.' Yet without giving a whole-hearted approval 
of this abdication, the critic seems to indicate that the heights attained 
compensated for it, and more than compensated for the numerous 
halts in the ascent, the numerous arid places in the road traversed : 
' Wordsworth failed in many of the things he attempted ; failed more 
signally and obviously than other great poets, who have made a more 
prudent estimate of human powers, and have chosen a task to match 
their strength.' But ' he pressed onwards to a point where speech 
fails and drops into silence, where thought is baffled, and turns back 
upon its own footsteps '. 



poet, critic, and .philosopher, was the son of John Coleridge, Vicar of 
Ottery, Devon, and of Anne Bowdon. He was educated at Christ's 
Hospital, where he was the friend and contemporary of Charles Lamb ; 
he became a real scholar, and even at school an original thinker. 
His boyish affectation of Atheism was discouraged by a flogging and 
never returned. He went to Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1791, and 
left it without a degree three years later, but he had won several 
classical distinctions there. In spite of ardent sympathies with the 
French Revolution he had, in 1793, temporarily interrupted his 
University career by going to London and enlisting in a dragoon 
regiment that was being recruited to fight France ; after a few 
months his brothers purchased his discharge, and lie returned to 
Cambridge. In 1794 he visited Southey at Balliol, and between them 
they sketched out a plan of life based upon ' pantisocracy ', in the 
backwoods of America. Lack of funds and vagueness of principles 
prevented the fulfilment of this dream. In 1795 Coleridge was already 
writing poetry, and, though probably still in love with Mary Anne 
Evans, married at Bristol Miss Sarah Fricker, whose sister Edith soon 
afterwards became Mrs. Southey. Sarah was an amiable woman and 
a good mother, but to make Coleridge into a tame, or even an ordinarily 
responsible, husband was beyond her powers, and the upshot was that 
from 1803 onwards Southey gallantly supported Coleridge's family 
as well as his own under his own roof at Greta Hall. Before that, 
however, Coleridge had made several attempts to settle down, all of 
which failed. His opinions in these same years began to undergo 
a change to some extent parallel to the change in the opinions of his 
friends Southey and Wordsworth. He came to see the Revolution in 
its true colours, and to hate it as the enemy of religion ; but he always 
disliked the war against France. 

His first volume of poems, to which Lamb contributed, was 


published at the expense of his friend Cottle, of Bristol, in 1796, and 
the poet became by turns newspaper editor (of the Watchman, March, 
April, 1796), itinerant lecturer, preacher at Unitarian chapels, above 
all dreamer of dreams, and schemer of schemes of thought. It was 
Cottle who said of him, ' His mind was in a singular degree distinguished 
for the habit of projecting '. He received irregular gifts of money 
from several friends, who admired for none could help admiring his 
extraordinary powers of conversation, his speculative and poetical 
dreams ; he also passed long periods as the guest of such friends, only 
very occasionally returning to his nominal home at Greta. 

In 1797 he visited the Wordsworths in Dorsetshire, and they soon 
came to settle near him at Nether Stowey. In 1798 Coleridge and 
Wordsworth brought out together the little volume of Lyrical Ballads, 
which has always been reckoned the manifesto of the Romantic 
School ; this included the Ancient Mariner. Christabel and the 
fragment of Kubla Khan, the latter of which Coleridge avowed himself 
to have actually dreamed, were both written before 1801, but neither 
appeared in print till 1816. Indeed, there is almost nothing of Cole- 
ridge's in verse written later than 1802 ; the years 1796-1802 were 
his only real poetical period. In 1798 the brothers Wedgwood con- 
ferred on Coleridge an annual pension of 150, which at least saved 
him from want ; it was in the same year that he went to Germany 
with the Wordsworths, separated from them on the tour, and gave 
himself ardently to the study of German language and philosophy. 
On his return he published translations of Schiller, and began to 
contribute, but without regularity, to the Morning Post. Regularity 
and Coleridge were indeed as far as the Poles asunder. Before 1800 
he had begun to relieve his undoubted physical sufferings rheumatism, 
depression, stomach disorders, and the like with small but increasing 
doses of opium, and the habit at times assumed the most dangerous 
proportions until 1816, when he finally took up his residence with 
Mr. Gillman at Highgate. We do not know for certain that even the 
affectionate care and attention of Gillman and his wife were able wholly 





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Face p. 284 


to wean Coleridge from the drug, but he was certainly clearer-minded 
and happier in his last eighteen years than in the period 1802-16. 

During that period he wandered restlessly from place to place, 
always seeking human companionship and friendship, but seldom 
long able to retain it. Charles Lamb was perhaps his best and most 
constant friend ; it is to Lamb that we owe the three matchless and 
perfectly true epigrams on Coleridge ; at Christ's Hospital he had 
seemed to Lamb an ' inspired charity-boy ' ; in his decline he was 
' a damaged archangel ' ; and when Coleridge once asked Lamb, 
' Charles, did you ever hear me preach ? ' the frolic friend stuttered 
out, ' I never heard you do anything else.' But Lamb was the first 
to admit that the sermons were remarkably worth hearing. Words- 
worth, whose mind soared among lonely heights of a different nature 
from those reached by Coleridge, was never ungenerous to him as he 
was to most other poets, but was very apt to speak the truth not only 
to, but also of, his friend, and a speech of the latter kind, accidentally 
coming to Coleridge's ears, gave the poor wandering soul mortal 
offence. A voyage to Malta, Sicily, and Rome, 1804-6, brought 
Coleridge little relief. In 1808 he was able to give some lectures at 
the Royal Institution in London on philosophic subjects. In 1809, 
being then again in the Lakes, he started a newspaper called The 
Friend, which ran for some seven months ; in 1810 he was back in 
London again, and began giving his ' Lectures on Shakespeare and 
Milton '. In 1813 a drama called Remorse by Coleridge was acted 
at Drury Lane and well received. Finally in 1816, in his real desire 
for relief from his bad habits, he placed himself under the protection 
of the Gillmans at Highgate. The result was the publication in that 
and the following year of Christabel, Kubla Khan, Sibylline Leaves, 
and the famous Biographia Literaria. Towards the end of his life 
three successive editions of his Poems appeared (1828, 1829, 1834). 
He had lived to see the change of taste which the Lyrical Ballads of 
1798 had inaugurated, and had become in his last years quite ' the 
fashion '. He even went for a tour abroad with Wordsworth in 1828. 


He died quietly at Highgate in 1834. His daughter Sarah, heir of 
some of his genius without his faults, says in a letter written imme- 
diately afterwards, that her father declared that he ' died in the 
English Church ', and always thought of him as next door to a saint 
who had gone through much suffering. In one remarkable passage 
she says, ' I would always invite and welcome for my father, as he did 
for himself, the closest examination of the character and merit of his 
writings, ... his complaint always was that nobody would question 
his views on particulars, that nobody would fight him hand to hand, 
but that random missiles were discharged at him from a distance by 
men who fled away while they fought." 

It would perhaps be vain for us now to hope to understand the 
philosophical views of Coleridge, which, moreover, can only be gleaned 
from his Table Talk, his Literary Remains, and editions of his Lectures 
published by members of his family or by his admirers after his death. 
We shall hardly be bold enough to say, with his daughter, that ' religion 
and philosophy were first brought into permanent and indissoluble 
union by his divine works '. 

On the other hand, both as poet and critic, Coleridge exercises 
at the present day an influence greater than he ever exercised before ; 
there is no end to the appreciations, the bibliographies of him, or to 
the criticisms of his critical writings. As poet all his work was con- 
fined within the very narrow limit of time 1796-1802, and he then 
produced three ' romantic ' poems of singular beauty and richness. 
It was a small output, and those who on the strength of it put Cole- 
ridge among the loftiest of the immortals should beware how they 
refuse to Gray any place in that band because of the smallness of his 
output. The Ancient Mariner is full, as nothing since Milton had 
been, of the joys of living nature infused with some spirit 

whose dwelling is the light of setting suns. 

A true admirer will, we think, ask no more from any poet ; yet critics 
are found to-day who deliberately seek to regard this outburst of 
natural melody as a deep philosophical and allegorical poem. 


As critic, if the Biographia Literaria, the best piece of literary 
criticism put forth in Coleridge's lifetime, be taken as a test, Coleridge 
must stand very high. Mr. Mackail well points out that, in general 
criticism of the ends, methods, and essence of poetry, Coleridge was 
apt to become vague ; but when he came to deal with actual verses 
made by an actual poet (e.g. Wordsworth) he was almost invariably 
inspired to say the right thing. He had a perfect instinct for criticism 
when something concrete was given him upon which to exercise it. 
That is a very great faculty indeed. Of his Lectures on Shakespeare 
only fragments remain, often mere notes taken down by his hearers ; 
and, indeed, Coleridge was incapable of preparing a lecture, and some 
of his happiest efforts were mere improvisations. 

As a man, those only have the right to throw stones at Coleridge 
who disbelieve in the existence of that nervous disordered tempera- 
ment which is often the accompaniment of high intellectual and moral 
gifts. Leslie, who knew him intimately during the first years of his 
residence at Highgate, says that ' his want of success in all worldly 
matters may be attributed to the mastery possessed over him by his 
own wonderful mind '. His case was exceptional, and he aggravated 
it by early indulgence ; but it is fairly clear that he was born irrespon- 
sible and that nothing could have rendered him responsible. 



poet and man of letters, was the son of Robert Southey, a draper at 
Bristol, and Margaret Hill. He was educated at the expense of his 
mother's half-sister, Miss Tyler, who intended to adopt him but 
discarded him when he grew up. He was at Westminster from 1788 
to 1792, but was privately expelled for writing disrespectfully of the 
Devil, to whom, in a school magazine, he had attributed the invention 
of flogging. He then went to Balliol, but, being imbued by Coleridge, 
who visited him there in 1794, with a craving for ' Pantisocracy ' and 
a simple life in the backwoods of America, he left without taking 
a degree. He had already met Wordsworth in 1793. At Balliol his 
favourite reading had been the Stoic Epictetus ; at an early date he 
wrote a long Epic on Joan of Arc and a republican drama with Wat 
Tyler for hero. His mother's brother, chaplain at Lisbon, bore his 
expenses for a time after Miss Tyler had thrown him over ; he wished 
him to take Orders, but for this Southey felt unfitted. It was this 
Mr. Hill who now persuaded him to visit Portugal, a visit which led 
to his permanent interest in the languages and history of the Iberian 
peninsula ; before going Southey married in 1795 Edith Fricker, sister 
of Coleridge's wife Sarah. Joan of Arc was published by Southey's 
constant and generous friend Cottle in 1796, and some excellent 
Letters from Spain and Portugal came out on his return to England 
in 1/97. It was soon after this return that his old school friend 
Wynn, who thoroughly believed in him, began to allow him 160 
a year ; the young poet thereon determined to read Law in London, 
but was more seriously engaged in an epic on the fortunes of the 
Welsh Prince Madoc in prehistoric America. He returned to settle 
with his wife at Westbury, 1798 ; his industy in ballad- and epic- 
writing was already enormous. He was also engaged on a Historv 
of Portugal ; he again visited that country, with his wife, in 1800, 


where he finished his best-known poem of Thalaba. On his return he 
tried for a time to be secretary to a Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer 
but it was not a congenial employment. In 1803 he finally settled 
at Greta Hall, Keswick, nominally sharing the house with the Cole- 
ridges, in reality supporting Coleridge's family as well as his own. 
For his remaining forty years Greta was his home. Here the labours 
of his pen were stupendous, but his courage, his methodical habits, 
and his serene self-confidence enabled him to grapple with subject 
after subject. By dint of these Southey became a sort of ' hero man 
of letters ', working without rest yet without haste, always earning, 
always ready to help with money or advice those in need of either, 
and on the whole his advice was sound. Though he was, from 1803 
onwards, a firm Church-and-State Tory, Southey was no bigot ; he 
received Shelley warmly in 1812, and Shelley at his wildest was always 
courteous and respectful to him. ' Always employed,' said Coleridge 
of Southey, ' his friends always find him at leisure.' It was to describe 
Southey's nature indeed that Coleridge coined (with a great apology 
for its ungrammatical form) the dreadful word ' reliability ', now 
one of the gems of that American language which is rapidly ousting 
native English from our books. 

By virtue of his residence and of his friendship with Wordsworth 
and Coleridge (a cold business on Wordsworth's part at least), by 
virtue also of his gradual and sincere change of political opinions, 
similar to that experienced by Wordsworth and to some extent by 
Coleridge, Southey is ranked among the ' Lake School ' of poets. 
He stood, in reality, far below the other two in poetical gifts, but his 
very mediocrity enabled him to please the public taste more than 
they did. It is as a prose writer that he stands really high ; his 
Life of Wesley and his Life of Nelson are models of terse, vigorous, 
and illuminating biography. His knowledge and his reading were 
vast, as his translations from Spanish romance and his long series of 
articles, contributed from 1808 for over thirty years to the Quarterly 
Review, amply testify. His History of Brazil, the only instalment 


ever published of his long-projected History of Portugal, was a monu- 
ment of research. His History of the Peninsular War would perhaps 
have been a classic had it not been cut out almost at once by Napier's. 
His Book of the Church and his Doctor are full of delightful things, the 
latter including the immortal children's story of the ' Three Bears '. 
His longer poems, Thalaba (1801), Madoc (1805), The Curse of Kehama 
(1810), Roderick (1814), A Tale of Paraguay (1825), are no longer read. 
Southey received a Government pension of 160, when he insisted 
in 1806 on giving up the allowance Wynn had made to him ; this was 
increased to 300 in 1835, at which date he refused a baronetcy. He 
had become Laureate on the death of Pye in 1813, and a D.C.L. of 
Oxford in 1820. 

Southey was the most adoring of fathers and the most affectionate 
of husbands, but he lost three children by death, and in 1834 his wife 
lost her reason, and died in 1837. He never recovered from the blow 
and his own reason seems to have been failing when in 1839 he married, 
for companionship's sake, the poetess Caroline Bowles ; she had been 
for twenty years his friend and correspondent. He toiled on at 
literature with a mind steadily darkening, though he ceased to recognize 
his friends when they came to see him ; and he died early in 1843. 
He was an exceedingly handsome man so handsome indeed that 
Byron once said that ' to possess his good looks he would almost 
have written his verses '. He was an indefatigable collector of books, 
and accumulated a really fine library, especially of Spanish and 
Portuguese literature. He had one other remarkable and honourable 
devotion ; he might be well described as the greatest cattophilist 
that ever lived ; in the Doctor he has left us a charming fragment on 
the ' Cattery of Cat's Eden ', and Professor Dowden well says that 
some of his letters would almost imply that his ' whole business in life 
was that of secretary for feline affairs at Greta Hall '. 



essayist, son of John Lamb and Elizabeth Field, was born in the 
Temple in London. His father was clerk and servant to a Bencher 
of the Temple, Mr. Salt ; his mother was the daughter of the house- 
keeper in a fine old Hertfordshire house. Charles was twelve years 
younger than his brother John, and more than ten years younger 
than his sister Mary ; he was educated at Christ's Hospital, and 
became a good Latin and English scholar but acquired little Greek ; 
he had early access to old English literature in the extensive library 
of Mr. Salt. At school he became a warm friend of Coleridge, and 
retained that friendship till Coleridge's death, which happened six 
months before his own. He left school in 1789, and, after a few 
months' service in the South Sea House, obtained in 1792 a clerkship 
in the East India House, with a salary which began at 70 and had 
risen in the year of his retirement (1825) to 700 a year. He then 
received a pension of 441 a year for life. Mr. Salt died in 1792, 
leaving several small legacies to the Lambs, who were never in actual 
want, but always poor until Charles's rise in the office and his literary 
labours began to bring in a competence. This, however, was not till 
after the close of the eighteenth century ; the eldest son John, a clerk 
in the South Sea House, was well off, but did nothing for his parents 
or sister, and left the whole burden to Charles. There was insanity 
in the family, and in 1796 a terrible tragedy happened ; Mary Lamb, 
in a fit of madness, stabbed her mother to death. The father rapidly 
sank into imbecility and died in 1799 ; thenceforward Mary's disease 
was intermittent, but for fifty years continued to return to her at 
steadily diminishing intervals. Charles devoted himself entirely tc 
maintaining her in comfort when she was well, and providing for her 
on a generous scale when she was obliged to be under restraint. Mary 
repaid his affection and solicitude to the fullest degree, and was a 
worthy sister, both intellectually and morally, to her noble-hearted 



It would be tedious to trace the different changes of residence, 
usually from one lodging to another, which the brother and sister 
made, and were, owing to Mary's recurrent insanity, often obliged to 
make ; but it is to be noticed that, with the exception of one nine-year- 
long residence in the Temple, it was generally in the direction of the 
Hertfordshire fringe of London that they turned ; Charles had two 
loves, London and Hertfordshire ; only once did he visit the Continent 
(1822), and even on his short holiday visits to Coleridge, Southey, or 
Wordsworth, though he thoroughly appreciated the Lake scenery, he 
was often craving for the sights and scents of his beloved London ; 
for this city, indeed, he had a feeling akin to that of Johnson, and was 
never happy if long away from it. A certain restlessness in his nature 
is no doubt to be attributed to his constant, though concealed, anxiety 
on his sister's account. 

His first published work consisted of four sonnets in Coleridge's 
volume of Poems, 1796 ; two years later he first caught the ear of 
those who could appreciate literature with his Tale of Rosamund Gray 
and Old Blind Margaret, and, in 1807, the ear of the public at large 
with Tales from Shakespeare, the joint work of Mary and himself. 
The Specimens of the English Dramatic Poets, 1808, showed his ripening 
powers ; he was the first person to reveal the Elizabethans and post- 
Elizabethans to the modern world. 

If this entitles him to be classed as a Romantic, clearly he is 
among the Romantics, but he had also many affinities to the Opposi- 
tion, and it is strange that he could take as little pleasure in the poetry 
of Shelley as in that of Scott or Byron ; he did not even care for the 
Waverley Novels. Hogarth and Shakespeare were his favourite 
' authors ', and it was the satire not the art of Hogarth that attracted 
him. He had begun writing for the newspapers and magazines as 
early as 1800, but it was hardly before 1808 that he struck his most 
successful vein with the beginning of the Essays, to which he (who 
loved mystifications) afterwards appended the name of ' Elia '. These 
began to appear in the Reflector, a periodical edited by Leigh Hunt, 

o = 



Face. p. 292 


in the Gentleman's Magazine, and, after 1820, in the London Magazine ; 
the first collected volume of them was printed as the Essays of Elia 
in 1823 ; the Last Essays of Elia appeared ten years later. It is by 
these Essays that Charles Lamb (no one ever spoke of him without 
his Christian name) will live for ever. It would be as ridiculous to 
speak of any one ' interpreting ' him as of any one rivalling him ; 
but it is pleasant to note that, of all who have worked parallel veins 
of ore, his own ardent admirer Mr. E. V. Lucas has come nearest to 
his touch both of humour and of the pathos that is so closely allied 
to humour. 

Charles Lamb had many limitations and one failing : he was 
too fond of strong drink, and it took a very little to upset him ; he as 
well as his sister, though only on one brief occasion in his youth, 
had known what it meant to have his reason clouded for a time, 
and it is probable that the fear of recurrence of such an attack was 
long present to him. Also he stammered very badly ; many of his best 
sayings were checked in their utterance by this peculiarity. There 
was a vein of buffoonery as well as of humour in him, and he was 
not free from a certain sardonic pleasure in ' shocking his company '. 
Much of this must be attributed to the constantly wearing anxiety 
which he felt on his sister's behalf. Anxiety on the score of money 
also was often present, for, in spite of his great generosity, Charles 
made a constant and successful effort to avoid debt and to save money 
for Mary. At one time this and his passion for the drama led him to 
attempt dramatic writing, but here his hand failed him completely. 
He had, however, great consolations in his sorrows, for he had a ' genius 
for friendship '. After Coleridge, perhaps his warmest friend was 
Southey, whose heart was no less pure and gallant than his own. 
His loyalty and devotion to all his friends was wonderful. In their later 
years he and his sister adopted a girl, Emma Isola, who married in 
1838 the publisher Edward Moxon. Charles Lamb died at Edmonton 
in his sixtieth year, and Mary survived him nearly thirteen years. 
The cloud descended lower and lower on her after he had gone. 



was the eldest daughter, by the first of his four wives, of the sprightly 
and erratic pedant, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, of Edgeworthstown, 
Ireland, who worshipped Rousseau and Thomas Day, and tried to 
bring up his children after their singular models. It is said that 
Maria's father adopted the procrustean method of hanging her in 
order to increase her diminutive stature. Happily her tough physical 
and mental constitution, aided perhaps by some Hibernian lack of 
. method on the part of Mr. Edgeworth, was proof against his paternal 
theories ; but some traces of her upbringing remained, and coloured 
most of her writings, especially those directed at the address of ' the 
young '. Sir Walter Scott's modesty often led him to overpraise his 
contemporaries, but to this little Irish lady alone was it given to have 
her works quoted by Scott as one of the two causes which led him, 
' without being so presumptuous as to hope to emulate her rich humour ' , 
to publish Waverley. And it seems to be really true that he sent 
her a copy of Waverley when it was first published, although it does 
not appear that Maria, like the immortal Jane Austen, at once dis- 
covered the secret of the authorship. The friendship between the 
families of Edgeworthstown and Abbotsford only ended with Sir 
Walter's death, and Lockhart has given an admirable picture of the 
reciprocal visits that took place in 1823 and 1825. 

Maria had several opportunities of seeing good society on both 
sides of both Channels, and made full use of them ; she could read 
French and Italian and Spanish ; a Swedish nobleman had made love 
to her (at Paris in 1802) ; she had talked with and pleased Byron 
(1803) ; Miss Austen had sent her Emma ; she was passionately 
admired in America, which still retained some relics of old colonial 
culture. Moreover, she was a woman of shrewd practical common 
sense, an excellent housekeeper and stewardess of her father's and 
brother's estate. She wrote upon educational subjects and on Irish 


bulls. She edited her father's memoirs. Of her numerous novels 
perhaps Castle Rackrent (1800) is now alone remembered ; of her 
children's books, the incident of ' Rosamond and the purple jar '. 
Miss Martineau, herself in some ways a spiritual child of Maria, though 
without Maria's occasional lapses into real wit, rightly says of her 
that she was the first person who ' early and effectually interested her 
century in the lot and character of the Irish, and did much to raise 
the character of fiction ' ; the same writer adds that ' her delectable 
Rosamond is worth a score of famed novel-heroes, and is surely 
destined to an everlasting youth '. 



poet, is claimed by critics as a forerunner of the change in poetical 
taste, not in the direction of Romanticism but in that of Realism. 
He was born at Aldeburgh in Suffolk, then a poor decayed fishing 
borough, full of smugglers, and returning two members to Parliament. 
His father, George Crabbe, after teaching school in the neighbourhood, 
succeeded his grandfather as collector of the salt-tax at the quay of 
the little port. His mother was a woman of great piety and sweetness 
of character. George had some schooling at Stowmarket, and early 
soaked himself in poetry, especially in Milton ; he was designed for 
the medical profession, and got some small practice in the intervals 
of assisting his father to collect salt-taxes. He published, at Ipswich 
in 1774, a poem on the effects of drunkenness. He went to London 
in 1780 in great poverty, with the hopes of selling other poems, and 
was unsuccessful, until Burke generously responded to a letter enclosing 
some specimens of his verse. Burke took him to Beaconsfield and got 
Dodsley to publish his poem The Library, and Crabbe thereon set to 
work at The Village. Burke also persuaded him to take orders, and 


persuaded the young Duke of Rutland to take him as domestic chaplain 
at Belvoir. Crabbe married a lady to whom he had long been attached, 
published The Village in 1783, and found himself famous. He got 
a degree conferred on him by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which 
qualified him for Church preferment. He held, by the favour of Lord 
Thurlow, of the Duke of Rutland, and of other friends, many successive 
curacies and livings, though he kept residence in few of them, and 
was once peremptorily ordered by his Bishop to keep it. His wife 
inherited a small estate in Suffolk in 1792, and Crabbe went to reside 
there. He was a good man, though a dry and unspiritual priest, but 
he certainly had a marvellous knowledge of the wants and conditions 
of the poor. He hated Dissenters and Methodists, and does not seem to 
have been loved by his people. Yet among great statesmen as well 
as among brother poets he had friends and admirers, and was treated 
as a great poet ; men as widely different as Fox and Scott soothed 
their last hours by reading or repeating his verses. Even Wordsworth 
made an exception in his favour, and warmly commended his poetry. 
The Parish Register appeared in 1807, The Borough in 1810, and 
Tales in Verse in 1812. Crabbe also wrote reams upon reams of 
verses and novels which, perhaps in deference to domestic criticism, 
he burned ; he was a keen critic and a ruthless destroyer of his own 
writings. In 1819 came his last publication, Tales of the Hall. 

His merit appears to consist in the great contrast which his view 
of village life affords to that which had been rendered popular by Gray 
and Goldsmith. He saw down to the springs of life, and found them 
on the whole to be muddied at the source, and to flow, for the poor, 
mostly through barren lands and sordid scenes. He drew, in harsh 
unmelodious rhymed couplets of the old metre of Pope, sketches full 
of real tragedy and pathos ; occasionally too he has real and grim 
humour, still more rarely real sweetness. Those who disparage him 
should remember that great poets and great critics, Tennyson and 
Fitzgerald no less than Byron and Scott, have taken the highest 
pleasure in his treatment of his one theme, the ' seamy side ' of life. 



From the i or;rait by Henry William Pickersgill, R.A., 
in tlie National Portrait Gallery 


From a lithograph after the portrait by 

Arminius Meyer 


From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. 
in the National Portrait Gallery 

From the portrait in the National Portrait Gallery 

Painter unknown 

Fact p. 206 



poet, was the son of a Serjeant-at-law, of an old Devonshire family ; 
he was educated at Eton, where he displayed precocious talent for 
literature and edited the witty school magazine called The Etonian, 
and at Trinity, Cambridge, where he became a fine classical scholar, 
especially distinguished in verse making. He was called to the Bar 
in 1829, and sat in the last unreformed and the second reformed 
Parliaments. He held a small office in Peel's brief Ministry of 1835. 
All his short life he was a cultivator of the satiric Muse in her gentlest, 
most refined, and most Horatian vein, and in his later years he con- 
tributed effectively to the newspapers on the Conservative side. But 
he could pass also from gay to grave, sometimes too much in the 
Byronic mood of the young men of his time, sometimes, as in his 
Arminius, with a really Tyrtaean force ; yet he is perhaps at his best 
when he is mocking the ' sentimentality ' from which in his weaker 
moods he was by no means free. As a master of light society verse 
or political verse, he was the predecessor of Calverley, of ' J. K. S.', 
of ' A. G.', and of the author of the Hawardcn Horace. 



poet, of the Argyllshire clan, was born in Glasgow, where his father 
had failed as a merchant. Thomas became an excellent classical 
scholar at Glasgow High School and University, took pupils in private 
families in the Highlands, settled in Edinburgh with a view to the 
legal profession, and drifted into a literary career. He had probably 
written poetry from an early age ; The Pleasures of Hope was his 
first publication, 1799, and this led to many introductions to literary 
society. Next year he travelled to Germany, and made his head- 
quarters at Hamburg. Then was produced his well-known poem 
Ye Manners of England. He returned to Britain in 1801, and was 
very well received in literary circles, both in London and in Edinburgh, 
especially among the Whigs. Lochiel and Hohenlinden were written 
before the end of 1801. He did a great deal of miscellaneous writing 
after his final settlement in London (1804), and got a pension of 200 
a year from the King. Specimens of the British Poets, with Campbell 
as editor, appeared in 1819, and next year he became editor of the 
New Monthly Magazine, in which some of his own poems appeared. 
He was one of the first perhaps the first projector of the University 
of London, 1825 ; was thrice elected Lord Rector of Glasgow ; was 
a zealous champion of Polish freedom (then a favourite theme for 
impassioned Whiggish enthusiasts), and a very good lecturer and 
critic. He had much domestic trouble, and seems to have been a bad 
manager of his finances, even for a poet. 

His latest editor, Mr. Logic Robertson, says, ' I rise from a perusal 
of Campbell's poetry with a feeling of mingled surprise and indignation 
that he is at present so much neglected, and with the conviction that 
a later generation will do more honour to his memory than we have 
done '. It is perhaps not very easy to share this conviction. Campbell 
wrote some splendidly stirring songs which can never be forgotten ; 


he could do what Scott called ' the big bow-wow ' perhaps as well as 
any one except Scott himself, but it was longo intervallo from Scott ; 
he could do the misanthropic gloom, longiore intervallo and a great 
deal worse than Byron ; but we care now too little even for the best 
specimen of either style to have much desire to weep over Gertrude of 
Wyoming or the downfall of Poland. It may seem a cruel comparison, 
but the poet (and he was sometimes quite a poet) who may most 
appropriately be likened to Campbell is the American Longfellow. 



poet and humorist, was the son of a London bookseller of Scottish 
origin. He had some talent for drawing, but no health for continued 
exertion of any kind. He early got employment as a contributor of 
humorous verse to the London Magazine, for which Lamb also was 
writing ; in 1829 he began to edit a periodical called The Gem, and 
from 1830 Hood's Comic Annual. He was insolvent in 1834, but 
made a private arrangement with his creditors, which meant that 
they made him advances and took the profits of his pen ; thereupon 
he went abroad (1835-40) in order to satisfy their demands in sur- 
roundings more economical than those of London. In 1841 he became 
editor of the New Monthly, and an occasional contributor to the newly 
founded Punch. In 1844 he received a pension, for the lives of himself 
and his wife, of 100 a year. He died of consumption, yet with a 
jest upon his lips ; one of the remedies in those days being mustard 
plasters, he said to Samuel Phillips, who visited him upon his death-bed, 
' Ah, Phillips, there 's a deal of mustard here to a very little meat.' 

Hood's courage and gaiety in adverse circumstances and ill health 
were admirable ; his perception of the ludicrous extremely acute ; 
he was perhaps the greatest punster that ever lived, and he was 


entirely devoid of malice or coarseness. His Whims and Oddities, 
though now forgotten, were the delight of two generations of young 
people. And he had real pathos and a ' sense of the tears in the 
world ', as was seen in his best-known short pieces, like The Song of 
the Shirt and The Bridge of Sighs. 



novelist and diarist, was the daughter of Dr. Burney, the famous 
musician and historian of music, and of Esther Sleepe. She was born 
at Lynn in Norfolk, and lost her mother in her ninth year just after 
the family migrated to London. Her father's wit and charming 
manners soon made him a prime favourite in London society, and he 
was employed all day long in giving music lessons. Frances, the 
darling of a large family of amiable brothers, sisters, and cousins, 
began to write for her own amusement at an early age, but she kept 
the practice secret and burned her manuscripts until 1778, when 
Evelina made its appearance and took the town by storm. Of hard 
cash it brought her but twenty pounds, but it brought her the unpur- 
chaseable friendship and fatherly love of such men as Reynolds and 
Johnson ; with the latter Frances spent many days of his last happy 
two years at Streatham before Thrale's death. She next tried her 
hand at a comedy, but her father and her oldest friend, Mr. Crisp of 
Chessington, alike condemned it, and so it was never produced on the 
stage. This is perhaps to be regretted, as the authoress really excelled 
in sparkling dialogue. Cecilia, her second novel, appeared in 1782 ; 
and, though it sold like wildfire, she only received 250 ; Burke 's 
acquaintance with her began after its publication. In 1783 she was 
taken up and petted by the aged Mrs. Delany, who had been the 
friend of Swift, and was now, as the friend of King George and Queen 


From an engraving, by Charles Turner, A.R.A. 
after the portrait by E. Burney 


From a drawing by Henry Edridge, A.R.A., 

in the National Portrait Gallery 

R.N., C.B., F.R.S. 

From the portrait by John Simpson in the National 
Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Colvin Smith in the Scottish 
National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 300 


Charlotte, living in a little house at Windsor. By Mrs. Delany's 
influence, and somewhat against her own judgement, Fanny was 
persuaded to accept in 1786 the post of ' dresser ' to the Queen ; 
this involved an attendance, often wearisome, at a Court which even 
now would be classed as humdrum and ' dowdy ' ; and it involved 
almost incessant companionship with a jealous and tiresome old 
colleague, Mrs. Schwellenberg. Fanny had not strong health ; the 
etiquette, and above all the long hours of standing, affected her 
seriously ; she was unmethodical, careless of her dress, and perhaps 
untidy. The result was that she was very soon frankly bored and 
gradually began to be ill. The King and Queen were both very kind, 
and it would be ridiculous to say that they were really dull or cross or 
uninteresting persons ; but even Kings and Queens have their less 
interesting, their more impatient moments ; and a girl who had lived 
on terms of affectionate intimacy with many of the brilliant throng 
that sparkles in the pages of Boswell would naturally find her five 
years of confinement, whether at Windsor, Kew, or St. James's, 
almost unbearable. Like many persons of frail and slender figures, 
Fanny was extremely sensitive to cold, and the Spartan pair on the 
throne shared a passion for fresh air, and even for singing draughts. 
Fanny received a pension of 100 a year when she retired in 1791 ; 
her salary had only been 200. In 1793 she married the French 
emigre General d'Arblay, who had come to England with Narbonne ; 
he had lost all he possessed, and the pair had only the wife's little 
pension to live on. But they remained devoted lovers till the General's 
death in 1818, and their courage and their sweetness of temper under 
many misfortunes merit the highest praise. After the failure of 
a tragedy in 1795, Madame d'Arblay turned to her old vein and 
produced Camilla, her third novel, published by subscription in 1796. 
It had a great sale, and Dr. Burney told Horace Walpole, who had 
also been an admirer, though not an enthusiastic one, of Fanny's 
earlier work, that it had brought her 2,000. But the old gentleman 
on reading it declared it to be ' deplorable '. At the Peace of Amiens 


M. d'Arblay returned to France, but failed to get anything out of the 
First Consul save a retiring pension of 60 a year, and a little post 
in the Ministry of the Interior. His wife and son went over and 
joined him, and they had a little house at Passy ; but when the war 
broke out they were detained in France, and poor Fanny lost all 
touch with her English friends and even, to her great grief, with her 
aged father, till 1812, when she managed to escape to England just 
in time to prevent her son being drafted as a conscript. It was 
a new world she found on her return, but she faced it bravely, and 
wrote a novel, even worse than Camilla, called The Wanderer ; or. 
Female Difficulties, which brought her 1,500 in 1814. A month 
afterwards she was at her father's death-bed ; yet another month 
and her husband arrived, having received back his rank (Marechal de 
Camp) in the new French Army from the restored monarch. The 
d'Arblays returned to France, fled during the Hundred Days to 
Brussels, and then finally settled in England ; the General died at 
Bath in 1818. His widow came to London and settled in a little house 
in Mayfair, where Scott visited her in 1826. Her last work was her 
Memoirs of her father, 1832 she was then in her eightieth year. 
She lived long enough to admire the budding talent of a coming 
novelist, Benjamin Disraeli. Her son, a most promising young man, 
died three years before her. 

Although Evelina remains a classic, we do not now, unless we 
have the indiscriminate voracity of Macaulay, read Cecilia, still less 
Camilla or The Wanderer ; but when we want to supplement or 
correct Boswell's account of the charming companions among whom 
Johnson's last years were passed, we turn to the immortal Diary, and 
then we are sure to find that 

Little Burney's quick discerning 

will light up for us regions to which even Boswell failed to penetrate. 
When we want to know what ' dear Mr. Hastings ' looked like on his 
trial, or what delightful compliments the handsome Mr. Arthur 
Young (too apt to leave Mrs. Young in Suffolk) could pay to ladies ; 


or when we want to read the story of George Ill's mental illness 
ab intra, we again turn to the same book. There is, however, one 
disappointing lacuna : we learn almost nothing about French society 
during her years of exile 1802-12 ; what an opportunity was here 
thrown away ! The Diary appeared in 1842, and the Quarterly 
Review at once fell upon it savagely indeed, it is hard to see why. 
This attack called forth a defence in the Edinburgh from Macaulay 
himself ; although it is seasoned with much of the malice which that 
author loved to scatter beside his path, and although he wilfully mis- 
interprets the pictures which Fanny Burney drew of the King and 
Queen, that essay has substantially vindicated her claim to be one of 
the best and most sparkling of diarists. 



son of a distinguished East-Anglian antiquary, was at Eton with 
Canning and helped him to write the Microcosm, went to Caius, Cam- 
bridge, was famous for wit and good Latin, sat in Parliament 1796- 
1802, helped Canning in the Anti- Jacobin (to which he probably 
contributed as much as any one except Canning), and became Under- 
secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in 1799. He represented Great 
Britain at the Portuguese and Spanish Courts, 1800-1804, an( i was 
again our Ambassador to the Spanish Provisional Government, after 
the battle of Baylen, in 1808-9. He was not a successful diplomatist, 
being rash, speculative, and satirical, and was not employed again. 
He lived most of his 'later years at Malta, and his real fame is earned 
by his translations of Aristophanes, which were published in his old 
age, though perhaps written earlier. He also published other trans- 
lations from the Classics and imitations of old literature. He owed 
very much to his connexion with Canning, whose tastes and temper 
closely resembled his own. 



Captain in the Navy, and novelist, was the son of an underwriter who 
had a seat in Parliament, and grandson of a famously witty physician. 
He entered the Navy in 1806, and had the good luck to serve his 
first campaign under Cochrane in the West Indies. He is not known 
to have held any independent command during the war, and he never 
enjoyed good health, but he got a sloop in 1820, served with gallantry 
and distinction in the East Indies in the Burmese War of 1824-5, 
and subsequently held two commands. He retired in 1830. He had 
some scientific attainments also, was an expert in navigation and in 
codes of signalling, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1819. 
His first novel, Frank Mildmay, was published in 1829 ; Peter Simple 
came in 1834, and Midshipman Easy, now usually admitted to be his 
greatest, in 1836. Some very good judges are inclined to think that 
Poor Jack (1840) is not only the most faithful of Marryat's books, but 
(apart from the plot, a matter to which the author was quite indifferent) 
the most faithful of all English stories dealing with sailormen. After 
his retirement Marryat spent some time in Belgium, and some time 
in America. He found the writing of sea stories at first an easy road 
to fortune ; and so he was both careless of fame and extravagant : 
he turned in 1841 to the writing of children's books, of which one at 
least, Masterman Ready, has become a classic. He spent his later 
years on a small property which he owned in Norfolk. He was a con- 
vivial person of great humour in conversation, and could use a skilful 
pencil as well as a pen. 



critic and Judge of the Court of Session, was the son of George Jeffrey, 
depute-clerk of that Court, and of Henrietta Louden. He was edu- 
cated at Edinburgh High School, Glasgow University, and, for a year, 
at Queen's College, Oxford, which he did not like. In 1790 or 1791 
he had the honour of carrying Boswell very drunk to bed. His hopes 
of success were at first set upon the profession of letters ; he was 
admitted to the Scottish Bar in 1794, but, in spite of his great personal 
charm and his nimble mind, his fee-book showed very small payments 
for many years, while his strong Whig principles prevented his obtain- 
ing any of the places at the disposal of the Government. His nature 
was a strange mixture of high courage with despondency, not in 
alternation but at the same time. He was a very poor man when he 
married in 1801, but prospects brightened when, in company with 
Sydney Smith, Brougham, and Horner, he founded in 1802 the Edin- 
burgh Review, with Constable as publisher ; Constable paid contri- 
butors and editor upon a liberal scale. Jeffrey made an excellent 
editor, and the ' opinions ' of the Review, though it was chiefly written 
by Whigs, were not at first so pronounced as they afterwards 
became. When in 1809 the Quarterly Review was started by the 
Tories as a rival, the popularity of the Edinburgh was so far estab- 
lished that its sale was not greatly diminished. It must be remem- 
bered that Jeffrey was never a Radical, and that he looked with the 
horror of an old-fashioned Whig upon all seditious movements ; the 
Edinburgh never put itself within the reach of the law of libel. The 
chief accusations that can be brought against it are its contemptuous 
denunciation of the efforts of the British Ministry to maintain the 


struggle against Napoleon, and the unsparing ruthlessness with which 
it fell upon the new school of the ' Romantics ' in literature. For the 
last Jeffrey must be held responsible, and his vehemence against the 
poetry of Wordsworth was imitated by the rival Quarterly when 
Keats came to stand at its bar. Jeffrey even had to accept a challenge 
from Tom Moore in 1806, in consequence of an article in his Review ; 
the combatants were arrested in time to prevent them shooting them- 
selves (they were so inexpert with their pistols that they were not 
likely to have hurt each other), and afterwards became fast friends. 
No one bore less malice than the fiery little editor of the Edinburgh. 

From about the same date Jeffrey's practice at the Bar was 
growing steadily, though he can never have been a really great advo- 
cate. He became Dean of the Faculty in 1829, in which year he 
retired from the editorship of the Edinburgh, and Lord Advocate in 
1830, sitting in Parliament successively for Malton and for the City 
of Edinburgh, and taking charge, in his official capacity, of the Reform 
Bill for Scotland. In 1834 he attained the summit of his ambitions 
as a Judge in the Court of Session. He was no greater as a judge 
than as an advocate, but quite respectable in both characters. His 
Life, with a selection from his Correspondence, was admirably written 
by his friend Lord Cockburn, who, while quite candid in pointing out 
his shortcomings, speaks enthusiastically of his high moral worth, his 
warm affections, his gaiety under disappointments, and his untiring 
industry. In judging Jeffrey as a man of letters we must remember 
that his best work was all done in the Edinburgh, and was therefore 
anonymous and often compelled to be hurried. Nor is it quite certain 
even to-day that all the contributions usually assigned to him were 
in reality by his hand. Malicious Tories used to say that Jeffrey ' left 
a small poor library and a large well-stocked cellar '. 



was the son of Reginald Heber, Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, 
Squire and Rector of Hodnet, Salop, and of Mary Allanson. By 
a former wife the elder Heber was the father of Richard Heber, the 
celebrated collector of books. They came of an old Yorkshire family, 
and the Shropshire living and estate had come to them by the distaff. 
Reginald was educated at Whitchurch Grammar School and at a 
private school at Neasden near London, and there he formed a fast 
friendship with John Thornton, to whom most of his earlier letters 
were written. He went to Brasenose in 1800, and very soon became 
one of the leaders of intellectual society among the younger members 
of the University. His prize poem on Palestine was long remembered, 
but he also won the Latin Verse and the English Essay Prizes. In 
1805 he became a Fellow of All Souls, and soon set off for a tour with 
his friend Thornton to the only part of the Continent then open to 
Englishmen Norway, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Saxony ; he was 
away rather more than a year, took orders on his return in 1807 and 
entered upon the family living of Hodnet. He made friends with 
Wilberforce at this time, and had some intercourse with the ' Clapham 
Sect ' of Evangelicals ; this gave him a great interest in foreign 
missions, but he never identified himself with any ' party ' in the 
Church. In 1807 he married Amelia Shipley, daughter of the Dean 
of St. Asaph. A link with India may be traced in the fact that the 
small family estate of the Clives was close to Hodnet, but for a time 
it looked as if preferment in the Church at home was Heber's certain 
destiny. He became Prebendary of St. Asaph in 1812, was Bampton 
Lecturer in 1815, and Preacher at Lincoln's Inn in 1822. He was 
an early and fairly regular contributor to the Quarterly Review, 

H. P. IV X 2 


especially upon subjects connected with his travels in Eastern Europe. 
His pietas for All Souls led him to be a close student of the works of 
Jeremy Taylor, whose life he wrote. He also wrote many beautiful 
hymns, including the great hymn for Trinity Sunday, ' Holy, Holy, 
Holy ', and the missionary hymn, ' From Greenland's Icy Mountains '. 
In 1822 his old College friend Williams- Wynn, President of the India 
Board, persuaded him to accept the vacant see of Calcutta, and he 
sailed in the summer of 1823. Missionary enterprise in Hindustan 
had hitherto been left almost wholly to Dissenters, and had been 
distinctly discouraged by the policy of the East India Company. 
Heber at once resolved to make it the business of the Church of Eng- 
land, and his wide toleration and charming manners contributed 
largely to his great success in this task. He travelled over almost 
all the British dominions in the peninsula, and allowed no distinction 
of race or caste to interfere with his pious and devoted labours. He 
died suddenly in a plunge-bath at Trichinopoly in the spring of 1826. 
His Indian Journal, which is full of interesting information, was 
published after his death (1828). 



jurist, was the son of a London attorney of some fortune, and, like 
his pupil Mill, a marvel of precocity, who sucked in Greek, Latin, and 
History before he was out of petticoats. He went to Westminster at 
seven, to Oxford (Queen's) at twelve, and took his degree at sixteen. 
He was intended for the Bar, but only saw enough of it to enable him 
in after-life to attack, in a series of condemnations at once sweeping 
and detailed, the foundation of precedent, as versus principle, upon 
which the English Common Law rested. It is exceedingly difficult 
to trace any progressive growth in Jeremy Bentham's opinions, 


From the portrait by Henry Perronet Briggs, R.A , 
in the National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Thomas Phillips, R.A., 
at All Souls College, Oxford 


From the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence. P.R.A., 
in the National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Thomas Frye in the 
National Portrait Gallery 

Face f>. 308 


partly because the dates of the composition of his several works 
differ so very widely from the dates of their publication, partly also 
from the fact that he was born opinionated. He probably thought 
of himself as Mirabeau's father said of himself, ' I have in my head 
a few principles, which, if put in practice would make mankind happy 
for ever ' ; or, as Sieves said, ' Political Science is a science which 
I believe myself to have finished.' In truth his mind was, in such 
matters, more French (and French of the eighteenth century) than 
English, and the appreciation of his works in France has been almost 
greater than in England. Bentham was ready to draft a constitution 
for any country at any moment, and had no doubt that it would be 
an equal success in all countries. He was also ready to draw up plans 
of particular reforms, such as that of our prison system or of the 
Poor Law, in which he would come down to the minutest details of 
management. Above all he was ever ready to codify (the word is his 
own invention) every and any system of Law. In later life he would 
often make some allowance for the human element which is not 
unfrequently to be found in this world ; knaves and fools, he came 
to see, could do quite a considerable amount of damage, and he 
considered most anti-Benthamites to be both. But in spite of this 
supreme belief in his own nostrum, Bentham was saved from being 
a complete prig, not by a true sense of humour, which he did not 
possess, but by a robust gaiety of temperament, by a genius for friend- 
ship and, so far as it did not disturb his devotion to writing, for 
hospitality. One imagines that a dinner-party, consisting of Bentham, 
Romilly, Mill the elder, and a few more of that type, might have been 
somewhat dull ; but Bentham had a flow of good spirits that banished 
dullness even from the Utilitarian mess-table. He was, moreover, 
at bottom a generous and humane man. 

His first serious publication (anonymous, 1776) was the justly 
celebrated Fragment on Government, an attack in the name of ' Natural 
Rights ' upon Blackstone and upon the whole field of the long-descended 
Common Law. The Introduction to the Principles of Morals and 

x 3 


Legislation, Bentham's best-known work and the real foundation of 
his reputation, was privately printed in 1780, though not published 
till 1789. This became the bible of the Utilitarian School on both 
sides of the Channel. It was the former of these books that brought 
him in 1780 the friendship of Lord Shelburne, of whose house at 
Bowood he became for a time an almost constant inmate. But, as 
Lord Fitzmauricc wittily says, Bentham's estimate of Shelburne 
depended very much upon Shelburne's appreciation of the Fragment ; 
at this time of his life Bentham was more sensitive to the opinions 
of others than he became later. He seems to have had an affair of 
the heart at Bowood, also to have been afraid that his friends would 
marry him to some one against his will Bentham was rather cross 
when Shelburne failed, some years later, to nominate him for one of 
liis pocket boroughs, but was easily pacified ; probably he had a lucky 
escape from this ambition to be a Parliament-man, for he would have 
been the arch-bore at St. Stephens. As it was, his theories, put 
forward in incessant pamphlets, some of his own composition, some 
inspired by him but put into shape by others, gradually came to have 
great weight with thoughtful legislators and administrators. In his 
attacks upon the Usury Laws, and in most of his economic outpour- 
ings, he was mainly beating the track of Adam Smith. It is by his 
Principles of Penal Law (though his scheme for a model prison was as 
absurd as it could be) that he most effectually influenced his own 
generation ; the new Poor Law, which was passed very soon after 
his death, also owed much to his sound opinions against pauperization. 
1 Ic resided in (Jueen Square in London, and in 1814 bought a strange 
purchase for a utilitarian born in Houndsditch one of the loveliest 
old houses in the West, Ford Abbey in Dorsetshire, overlooking the 
silvery windings of the Axe. 

Bentham, singular in most things, was no less singular in the 
cycle of liis political opinions. He began life as a Tory, and ended it 
as a violent Radical, a champion of universal suffrage and of the 
ballot, and a friend of Burdett and Major Cartwright. 


whom it is difficult to classify either as a politician or man of letters, 
was in fact a sort of sloppy mixture of the two. He was the son of 
a small Highland laird who was a Captain in the Army. He went to 
the University of Aberdeen in his fifteenth year, and began those 
discursive studies hi letters, philosophy, and speechmaking for which 
he always retained a penchant. He tried to be a doctor, but had too 
little industry to give him success in any profession. He came to 
London in 1788, already an advanced Whig, talked at the Clubs, and 
wrote for Radical newspapers. He was the friend at this time of 
Home Tooke, and answered Burke's Reflections in 1791 with a work 
called Vindiciae Gallicae, which had some vogue. About 1795 he 
began to perceive his errors, attached liimself to those Whigs who 
had rallied to Pitt, and fell upon his old friends. He was called to the 
Bar in 1795- ^d soon obtained reputation and practice as an eloquent 
counsel in an age in which long-winded and ' philosophical ' generalities, 
as well as the use of pathetic appeal, were more in favour than they 
are now. He also lectured upon ' Natural Law '. a nne vague subject 
even to-day, but still more so at the dawn of the nineteenth century. 
In 1803, being then and always in need of money, he went to Bombay 
as ' Recorder ', stayed there for eight years, during which his health 
suffered without his riches increasing. He entered Parliament hi 1813 
and sat till his death ; here he gradually drew back towards his 
earlier position of advanced Whig. He rendered really valuable aid 
to Romilly hi his efforts at reform of the Criminal Law, and continued 
to work for this after Romilly 's death : it was the most useful thing 
Mackintosh ever did. He also tried to be a professor at Haileybury 
College (1818-24). In 1830 he held a small office hi Lord Grey's 
Reform Government. He wrote several philosophical and historical 


works marked by a lack of synthetic argument. He was ' good 
company ', and readily made friends had, indeed, no enemies ; but 
he seemed always to be in, or to aim at placing himself in, a position 
not warranted by his natural abilities. 



humorist and Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, was the son of 
Robert Smith and Maria Olier, was educated at Winchester and New 
College, Oxford, and took orders in 1794. The short Preface which 
he contributed to the (1839) collected edition of his works shows his 
position in the world of political thinkers with remarkable clearness. 
He was an advanced, and at times a blindly optimistic, Whig, though 
his Whiggism received more than one shock in his old age. He 
supported with pen and tongue all the good causes which the Whigs 
had at heart religious equality, the reform of the criminal law, the 
abolition of the slave trade. He also supported some of more ques- 
tionable causes of the same party, and so at times he suffered neglect 
in consequence of the unpopularity of his opinions. 

It was as tutor to a young gentleman, unable in the time of war 
to go, as he had intended, to study at Weimar, that ' in stress of 
politics we put into Edinburgh ' (1798). There Smith formed friend- 
ships with a brilliant band of young Whigs of the Jeffery, Brougham, 
and Horner type, and also with the philosopher Dugald Stewart. 
He was the projector, and became practically editor of the early 
numbers, of the Edinburgh Review, for which he continued to write 
for a quarter of a century. 

Soon, however, he removed to London, got a small appointment 
as preacher at the Foundling Chapel, and gave lectures upon Moral 
Philosophy. The short-lived Whig Government of 1806 gave him 


his first living in Yorkshire, and in 1807-8 he published his 'Letters on 
the Subject of the Catholics . . . by Peter Plymley,' a vigorous and 
witty plea for Catholic Emancipation. He got a prebend at Bristol 
in 1828, a Somersetshire living in 1829, and his canonry at St. Paul's 
in 1831. He had fairly earned this promotion by his vigorous cham- 
pionship of the cause of Parliamentary Reform. His Three Letters to 
Archdeacon Singleton, against the Ecclesiastical Commission, 1837-9, 
were the result of the Government's change of front on ecclesiastical 
questions after the Reform Bill. Like many another once-stalwart 
Whig, Smith in his old age found his political associates outrunning 
his own opinions. ' Liberality ', he says, ' is now a lucrative business. 
Whoever has any institution to destroy may consider himself a Com- 
missioner and his fortune as made ' bitter words, yet a true epitaph 
on that Whig spirit which, when in Opposition, had called for the 
destruction of many things venerable. 

Smith was a man of stainless private honour and great kindliness ; 
his wit was never malicious against individuals, and, though verging 
at times on buffoonery, was never really irreverent. Also it was very 
frequently directed against real abuses ; he has been called ' the 
greatest disperser of humbug that ever lived '. He was certainly 
disappointed that he never received the offer of a bishopric, though 
he always stated that he would have refused to accept one. And he 
was probably disappointed that even his friends did not take his 
clerical position seriously. Lord Macaulay notes that when Sydney 
said he must go into the country and look after his flock (' the hungry 
sheep look up and are not fed ') it sounded like a joke. The same 
writer gives a humorous description of ' the queer contrast between 
Smith's black coat and his snow-white head, the clerical amplitude 
of his person and the most unclerical wit, whim, and petulance of his 
eye '. Macaulay thought the sermon which he heard him preach at 
Foston in 1826 ' very queer, the former half too familiar, the latter half 
too florid '. But of his wit he expressly says : ' He is not one of those 
show talkers who reserve all their good things for special occasions : 


it seems to be his greatest luxury to keep his wife and daughters 
laughing for two or three hours together. His notions of law, govern- 
ment, and trade are surprisingly clear and just. His misfortune is to 
have chosen a profession at once above him and below him.' One 
must be careful to add that it was a profession for which Macaulay 
himself had very little sympathy. 

That Smith took his own position seriously there can be no doubt ; 
he was at heart a truly religious man, though his indifference to 
theology, and his dislike of extravagance in either ' High ' or ' Low ' 
Church directions, were great. It is much to his credit that, even 
on his first introduction to her, he showed no fear of that formidable 
virago Lady Holland, and frequently castigated her extravagances 
with his wit. He died in his home in Mayfair, and his wife, a Miss 
Pybus of Cheam, and several of his children survived him, though his 
favourite son died before him at the age of twenty-four. 



the foremost leader in the crusade for the abolition of the slave trade, 
was the son of a merchant at Hull. He was the contemporary at 
Cambridge, and thenceforward the lifelong friend, of the younger 
Pitt. There were occasional differences between them, for Wilber- 
force's enthusiastic zeal in the causes which both had at heart did 
not always make allowances for the political exigencies of the stormy 
times in which they lived ; but even the fact that Wilberforce both 
spoke and voted for the impeachment of Lord Melville in 1805 could 
not break their mutual affection. It would indeed have been difficult 
for any one to quarrel with William Wilberforce. Though he became 
in his early manhood a convert to the Evangelical School of religion, 
and lived for many years in the bosom of the ' Clapham Sect ', he 


From the unfinished portrait by Sir Thomas 

Lawrence. P. R.A., in the National 

Portrait Gallery 


From the three-quarter length portrait by Thomas Phillips, 
R.A., in the possession of Miss Arnold at Fox How 


From a miniature after Charles Robert Leslie, R.A., 
in the National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Henry William Pickersgill, R.A., 
in the National Portrait Gallery 

Face p. 314 


retained throughout his life his wit and his power of charming the 
most worldly people without abating his piety by an iota ; and his 
generosity, which ended by running away with his large private 
fortune, was as marked as his pleasant, happy temperament. 

Wilberforce entered Parliament as member for Hull in 1780, 
sat for many years for the great and very expensive constituency of 
Yorkshire, from which position he retired in 1812 to represent the 
more peaceable borough of Bramber in Sussex. Ill health compelled 
him to quit public life in 1825. He had, as a member of Parliament, 
an interest in several great causes, the reform of the Criminal Law, 
the Peace (if peace should prove possible) with France, the claims of 
the Catholics to be admitted to Parliament, the foundation of a 
Christian Mission in India ; outside Parliament he was also zealous 
for the reformation of the moral condition of the people of England, 
and was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society and of 
the British and Foreign Bible Society. But all these causes counted 
for little in comparison with his ardour in combating the slave trade. 
His interest in this question dated from his first meeting with Thomas 
Clarkson, who had originated the agitation. Wilberforce was at once 
persuaded to take it up in Parliament and to make abolition of that 
trade the main object of his life. After many discouraging failures, 
lasting for twenty years, the cause was carried to its triumph in 1807. 
It was characteristic of Wilberforce's moderation that he did not at 
once proceed to fight, as many of his friends wished to fight, for com- 
plete abolition of slavery in the British Colonies ; characteristic also 
of his tenacity that he was gradually led on to conclude that such was 
the better, indeed the only advisable, course to take. In 1833, when 
the Bill for this was carried, no one understood the inability of the 
negro race to produce useful citizens, or foresaw the economic ruin 
that was to overtake those societies which had once depended upon 
negro labour. Wilberforce married a Warwickshire lady, Barbara 
Spooner, and became the father of several children, among whom the 
most famous was Samuel, Bishop of Oxford. 



Head Master, youngest son of William Arnold, chief revenue officer at 
Cowes, Isle of Wight, and of Martha Delafield, was born at Cowes, 
educated at Winchester and Corpus Christi College, % Oxford, became 
a Fellow of Oriel in 1815, took Deacon's orders 1818, and settled at 
Laleham in Middlesex as a private tutor in 1819. In 1820 he married 
a clergyman's daughter, Mary Penrose. In 1827 he was appointed 
by the Trustees (a local body) to the Head Mastership of Rugby 
School, and in 1841, on the nomination of Lord Melbourne, he became 
Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford. He died suddenly 
at the early age of forty-seven in 1842. 

He took Priest's orders and a Doctor's degree shortly after his 
appointment to Rugby. His testimonials for this appointment were 
few, and he entered the field late and against many candidates, but 
it is believed that a letter from his Oriel colleague, Edward Hawkins, 
decided the Trustee-Governors of the School in his favour. In this 
letter Hawkins said that Arnold, if elected, would ' change the face 
of education all through the Public Schools of England '. This was 
a great prophecy and it was very largely fulfilled. Arnold brought 
to his task not only a genius for teaching, but also a passion for in- 
fluencing young men and boys towards the highest ideals of Christian 
citizenship. He brought also a complete lack of humour, and sym- 
pathies somewhat narrow, which excluded every ideal but his own. 
As a scholar, he was distinguished, although not in the first rank; 
his interest lay rather in the direction of the ancient historians, 
especially of Thucydides and Herodotus, than of the Greek dramatists 
or (with the exception of Homer) of the poets. His excellent edition 
of Thucydides (1830-5) was only superseded by that of Jowett ; his 
History of Rome, in three volumes, was based on Niebuhr's Rdmische 


Geschichte and began to appear in 1838. As a thinker, he correlated 
his knowledge of ancient history with modern problems ; and his 
views upon these were so strong and so openly expressed that they 
brought him into great disfavour as well with moderates as with 
extremists upon both sides in theology and politics. As Dean Stanley, 
in his admirable Life and Correspondence of Thomas Arnold, points 
out, Arnold held that Church and State should be coextensive ; there 
was nothing so abhorrent to him as the notion that the ' clergy are 
the Church ', and that the laity should be only the docile pupils of 
priests. He ardently desired the comprehension of all Protestant 
Trinitarian Dissenters within the pale of the Church of England, and 
he poured scorn upon the sacerdotalism of the then new sect of the 
Puseyites, or, as he called them, ' Newmanites '. Equally stern was 
his hostility to the secularist idea of education which was making 
headway in the new University of London ; he was nominated to 
a seat upon the Senate of this body in 1835. His views were developed 
in many pamphlets and articles. In politics he was an advanced 
Liberal, and was especially anxious to distinguish between ' democracy ' 
(a word which he used in a good sense now somewhat out of date) and 
' Jacobinism ', for which he always expressed his abhorrence. He 
was perhaps at his best in his sermons in Rugby Chapel, where the 
simple eloquence with which he spoke out his own manly piety held 
his audiences spellbound for fifteen years. 



philanthropist, was a member of the old Norfolk Quaker family of 
Gurney, and married a rich Quaker of London, Joseph Fry, in 1800. 
Her husband's family were very different from the essentially human 
and almost ' gay ' Quakers among whom she had lived as a girl, and 
it seems probable that her married life was not of the happiest. After 
the death of Mr. Fry's father she lived with her husband at Plashet, 
Essex. In 1813 she, who had from her earliest years shown great 
zeal for visiting the poor and afflicted, took up the cause of the female 
prisoners confined in Newgate, and became in fact the female counter- 
part of John Howard (1726-90). Though both were persons of deep 
religious feeling, the mainspring of Mrs. Fry's zeal and the continual 
inspiration of her work was far more strictly religious than Howard's. 
It is characteristic of both that, in contrast with the ' philanthropists ' 
of our own days, neither made any attempt to rouse discontent among 
the classes who suffered most from the crowded, insanitary, and 
ill-regulated prisons which they visited ; Mrs. Fry was no weak 
sentimentalist, but a woman of vigorous and practical common sense ; 
her first efforts were directed to arouse in her subjects a sense of sin 
and a desire for repentance and self-amendment. She found the 
want of employment of the prisoners during the period of incarceration 
one of the greatest evils ; she established schools and gave work for 
them to do ; she did much to mitigate the hardships of the lot of 
those transported to New South Wales. In all these efforts she got, 
as Howard did, the ear of the Government, of the British Court, and 
of other Courts (those of Russia, France, and Prussia) than our own. 
She was interested in other philanthropic work, and may be regarded 
as the forerunner of the Charity Organization Society and the Dis- 
charged Prisoners' Aid Society. In consequence of the bankruptcy of 
her husband she died a poor woman. 



blue-stocking, daughter of a schoolmaster who lived near Bristol, was 
a precocious child and never outgrew her precocity ; she and her 
sisters set up a school in Bristol which had some success ; a gentleman 
who had promised her marriage, but who found himself afraid to 
fulfil his promise, induced her with some difficulty to accept a pecuniary 
allowance instead of his hand. She came to London in 1774, and, 
having an introduction to Garrick, then near his end, forced an 
acquaintance, as such women knew how to do, with Johnson's circle. 
It must be admitted that Johnson liked flattery, especially from 
ladies, and that he repaid it by pretty endearments, but Hannah's 
flattery was occasionally more than even he could swallow. ' Madam/ 
said he, ' before you flatter a man so grossly to his face you should 
consider whether or not your flattery is worth having.' It would have 
needed more than this to shake the self-complacent priggishness of 
Hannah. About 1784 she wrote a poem called Bas Bleu, in honour 
of the ladies who held conversational assemblies called ' Blue-stocking 
Clubs ' in London, and Johnson praised it. 

Garrick produced two tragedies of hers at Co vent Garden ; she 
also wrote poems, and Horace Walpole once printed one at Strawberry 
Hill ; Walpole wrote her pretty letters, the manuscript of which she 
very characteristically bowdlerized. She became more religious after 
1780, setting up house with her sisters in Somersetshire, and rarely 
coming to London ; she wrote more for ' young persons ' ; she became 
an agregee of the ' Clapham sect ', and a friend of Wilberforce ; she 
established Sunday schools on Mr. Raikes's model ; she wrote and 
published innumerable religious tracts, directed against the poisonous 
doctrines of the French Revolution, and was one of the founders of 
the Religious Tract Society in 1799. Macaulay when a boy occa- 
sionally paid her visits, and remembered her with affection. Her 


beet-known book, Coelebs in Search of a Wife, was published in 1809 : 
her vast output of religious and educational literature, all of it sound, 
Christian, and conservative in tendency, brought her a handsome 
fortune, a well-merited esteem from her contemporaries, and a decent 
forgetfulness from posterity. 



the son of a merchant-captain, entered at an early age the service of 
the East India Company as a clerk in Leadenhall Street. He was 
sent to Penang in 1805 at a time when it appeared probable that the 
jx;sscssions of the Dutch in the Far East might eventually fall into 
our hands. Raffles had the gift of tongues and made a special study 
i A the Malay dialects; and in 1811 he greatly aided Lord Minto's 
capture of Java, of which he then became, under the Governor-General 
of India, Acting Governor. He did excellent service in this capacity, 
exploring the island and redressing much of the injustice of that 
Dutch system of exploitation of Eastern colonies of which Adam 
Smith had been so severe a critic. He was strongly opposed to the 
restoration of the Dutch colonies at the Peace of 1814, and he was 
not a //crsima ferula with the Directors of the East India Company. 
In 1817, as Governor of Bencoolen, he explored the interior of Sumatra, 
and soon afterwards founded and governed our new colony of Singapore, 
which was purchased from a native Sultan. Raffles found time among 
his other avocations to make himself an excellent naturalist and an 
indefatigable collector of botanical and zoological specimens, and he 
is pcrhajjs now best remembered as the founder and first President 
(1820) of the Zoological Society of London ; Sir Humphry Davy 
assisted him in starting the Society, but the gardens and museum were 
not opened to the public till two years after Raffles's death. 


I.L.D.. K.R.S. 

From tlie portrait by George Francis Joseph, A.R.A., 
in the National Portrait Gallery 


From the portrait by Thomas riiillips. R.A., in the 
possession of the Earl of LceonfieM at PetWOtth 



From the whole-length portrait by A. Grail' ot Dresden, 

painted in 1787, belonging to Lieut. -Col. the Earl of Elgin 

ami Kincardine, at Broomhall. Dunfermline 


From the portrait by Henry William Pickersgill. R.A., 
in the possession of Mr. John Murray 



was grandson of that Sir William Wyndham who had been leader of 
the Tory, if not Jacobite, wing in the Parliamentary opposition to 
Walpole. Sir William's son inherited, as second Earl, the Egremont 
title and estates from his mother's father, the sixth Duke of Somerset. 
The third Earl never married, but spent his life and much of his very 
large income in the patronage of art, in charity, in improving the 
condition of the Sussex roads, in horse-racing, and in the boundless 
hospitality which he kept up at Petworth. He was a good deal more 
than a mere rich patron of art, for he had a fine taste of his own, and 
was one of the most cultivated persons of his day. ' Pre-Raphaelitism ' 
was then unknown, and for Egremont the world of Art began with 
Raphael ; but he was shrewd enough to see that it also stopped before 
Correggio. Vandyke was perhaps his greatest favourite ; and after 
Vandyke, Reynolds. He was the only patron who ever discerned the 
great genius of Flaxman, as he was the first who helped Turner. 
Turner had regular quarters at Petworth, and the Earl liked him to 
come and go unasked ; he painted much there, and would have 
painted more had he not been so devoted to fishing in the lake. Egre- 
mont would have been a sore puzzle to Mr. Ruskin, for he believed in 
Claude Lorrain and Constable quite as much as in Turner. Leslie, 
who was constantly at Petworth with his family, tells many stories 
of his patron's wit, good nature, and fine taste. Greville was another 
frequent visitor, and gives one of his most skilful character sketches 
of Egremont, of whose intellect and eager curiosity he formed a high 

Egremont took little interest in politics, but had been in his 
youth a Whig and a friend of Fox, who set the greatest store by his 
judgement ; when Greville knew him he had become a strong Con- 
servative, and even an alarmist. He was passionately fond of children 


and animals, and all the peasantry of his neighbourhood adored him. 
Greville gives a delightful description of a fte and dinner, to which 
he saw some six thousand poor people sit down in Petworth Park in 
May 1834 : ' The provisions were conveyed in carts like ammunition, 
plum puddings piled like cannon balls,' and ' that fine old fellow in 
and out of the house twenty times enjoying the scene all the time '. 



also eleventh Earl of Kincardine, was descended from that Lord 
Ailesbury whose Memoirs, written in exile, give such a vivid account 
of the last days of King Charles II and of the reign of James. He was 
educated at Harrow, Westminster, and St. Andrews, and entered the 
diplomatic service in 1790. He was a man of some taste, and had the 
ambition to be a patron of art. As Ambassador at Constantinople 
his attention was called to the disastrous condition in which many 
remains of Greek Art then lay. He began by employing draughtsmen 
to copy them, and in 1801 these artists were allowed to take mouldings 
from the friezes on the Parthenon. The firman which Elgin obtained 
from the Turkish Government seemed to authorize even the removal 
of the marble itself, and in 1803 the first cargo was dispatched to 
England. One ship was wrecked, and great loss was incurred in 
recovering the marbles by the aid of divers ; other cargoes were more 
fortunate, and for several years Elgin continued to add to his collections 
from various parts of Greece. The Collection was placed on view in 
his Lordship's own house in London, and was acquired for the nation 
in 1816 at about half the cost of its original purchase and transport. 

Lord Elgin, however, was much called in question on the whole 
transaction, and was even accused of appropriating the Collections 
of John Tweddell, an able scholar and antiquary, who had died at 
Athens in 1799. The matter has never been cleared up ; Mr. Twed- 


dell's brother failed to prove publicly the charge that he brought 
against Elgin ; but Elgin, to say the least of it, appears to have acted 
in a high-handed manner, and to have refused all explanations of his 
conduct. The further question whether the removal of the marbles 
from their original situation can be justified is still more difficult. 
Before the days of gunpowder the Parthenon and other Greek Temples 
were liable only to such damage as earthquakes and time could inflict, 
but, in the seventeenth century, when Athens was for the first time 
the scene of artillery fighting on a large scale, they were undoubtedly 
much damaged. They would probably have been ruined altogether 
in the event of a revolt of Greece and a serious siege of Athens, such as, 
in Lord Elgin's time, might have come to pass at any moment. In the 
sombre corridors of the British Museum the marbles are fairly safe 
and are visible to the world. But there are not wanting at the present 
day, scholars who maintain that they ought now to be restored to 
their original situation. 



commonly called 'the Second', publisher, was the son of Lieutenant 
John Murray, or MacMurray, of the Marines. The father sold out of the 
service and set up as a publisher in Fleet Street, with a full-rigged ship 
as his ensign, in 1768. The son displayed skill and enterprise very soon 
after he inherited the business, and, as London agent for Constable, 
got a share of the profits of some of Scott's early work, 'as well as of 
the Edinburgh Review. In 1809 Murray, after consulting Scott and 
Canning, started a Review of his own on sounder political principles, 
and this became the Quarterly. In 1811 Murray became Byron's 
publisher, and, though his Lordship delighted to speak of him as the 
' timidest of God's booksellers ', and wholly differed from him in 
politics, he remained one of Byron's wisest friends (and a most true 
friend in Byron's time of need), until Don Juan proved too much for 


his loyalty. The cessation of business relations, after the appearance 
of the fifth canto of that work, did not break their private friendship. 
Murray's destruction in 1824 of Byron's Memoirs (the copyright of 
which had become his property at Byron's death), at the wish of 
Hobhouse and Byron's sister, was a bold deed, but it was probably 
the best thing for the poet's fame that could have happened ; unless, 
indeed, the Memoirs could have been sealed up for fifty years. Could 
Scott have had such a friend in the trade, could he have escaped 
from his thraldom to the Edinburgh gang which ruined him, and done 
business with Murray alone, the story of his latter years would have 
been a very different one. In 1825 Lockhart became Editor of the 
Quarterly, and so formed another link in the friendship between 
Abbotsford and Albemarle Street. Murray published for Miss Austen, 
but afterwards parted with his interest in her works. He published 
two of Disraeli's novels, though he had had a quarrel with him, and 
had lost heavily by a newspaper, The Representative, into the publica- 
tion of which Disraeli had inveigled him. He just saw and helped 
the beginnings of Borrow, whose works his son and successor continued 
to publish. Another constant friend and literary adviser was John 
Wilson Croker, whose reputation has suffered unfairly from the 
unscrupulous partisanship and personal rancour of Macaulay. Murray 
was much beloved by all who had dealings with him ; his generosity 
was as marked as his shrewdness, and his friend Southey's famous 
toast of ' the health of Napoleon because he had once shot a publisher ' 
would have had no terrors for him. Indeed, Murray inherited much 
of the eighteenth-century spirit, when a publisher was a patron as well 
as a trader ; and he left to his successor a great tradition of honour 
in business, which has ever since been most worthily maintained by 
his descendants. 

Printed in England at the Oxford University Press 





Vol. 111= 1700-1800 
,, IV =1800-1850 

Abbot, Charles : see 
Abbott, Charles : see Tenterden 
Abercromby, Sir Ralph 
Addington, Henry : see 


Addison, Joseph 
Adelaide of Saxe - Meiningen, 

Queen-Consort of William IV . 
Albemarle, George Monck, first 

Duke of 

Althorp, Viscount : see Spencer 
Amherst, Jeffrey, first Baron 
Andrewes, Lancelot, Bishop of 

Winchester . 

Anne, Queen, with her son Wil- 
liam, Duke of Gloucester 
Anne of Cleves 
Anne of Denmark 
Anson, Admiral George, Baron . 
Arbuthnot, John 
Argyll, Archibald 

eighth Earl and Marquis of 
Argyll, Archibald C 

ninth Earl of 
Arkwright, Sir Richard 
Arnold, Thomas 
Arthur, Prince of Wales (son of 

Henry VII) . 
Arundel, Henry Fitzalan, twelfth 

Earl of 
Arundel, Thomas Howard, second 

Earl of 
Atterbury, Francis 

Auckland, George 

Earl of ... 

Auckland, William Eden, 

Baron .... 
Austen, Jane . 

Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam 
Bacon, Sir Nicholas . 

, Bishop 


















p of 






ron . 






>f . 








>n of 










-> of 











im . 




Baird, Sir David . . . iv 42 
Bancroft, Richard, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . . . . ii 220 

Banks, Sir Joseph . . . iv 162 

Barbon, Praise-God . . . ii 158 
Barham, Admiral Charles 

Middleton, first Baron . . iv 8 

Bartolozzi, Francesco . . iv 150 
Bath, William Pulteney, first 

Earl of . . . . iii 8 

Baxter, Richard . . . ii 174 
Beaton, David, Archbishop of St. 

Andrews and Cardinal . . i 130 

Beaufort, Henry, Cardinal . i 10 
Beaufort, Margaret : see Rich- 

Beaumont, Francis . . . ii 6(5 
Bedford, John Russell, fourth 

Duke of . . . . iii no 

Bedford, William Russell, Earl of ii 200 

Bentham, Jeremy . . . iv 308 

Bentinck, Lord George . . iv 236 
Bentinck, William Henry Caven- 
dish : see Portland 

Bentley, Richard . . . iii 84 
Berkeley, George, Bishop of 

Cloyne . . . . iii 34 

Bewick, Thomas . . . iv 146 

Blackstone, Sir William . . iii 226 

Blake, Admiral Robert . . ii 168 

Blake, William . . . iv 146 
Blount, Charles : see Devonshire 

Boleyn, Anne . . . i 120 
Bolingbroke, Henry Saint- John, 

Viscount . . . . ii 282 
Bonner, Edmund, Bishop of 

London . . . . i 138 

Boscawen, Admiral Edward . iii 76 

Boswell, James . . .iii 164 
Bothwell, James Hepburn, fourth 

Earl of . . . . i 1 50 

Boyle, Robert . . . ii 308 

Bradshaw, John . . ii 158 



Brandon, Charles : see Suffolk 

Bridport, Admiral Alexander 
Hood, first Viscount 

Brindley, James 

Bristol, George Digby, second 
Earl of .... 

Bristol, John Digby, first Earl of 

Brooke, Sir Fulke Greville, first 

Browne, Sir Thomas 

Bruce, Thomas : see Elgin 

Buchanan, George . 

Buckhurst, Lord : see Dorset 

Buckingham, Edward Stafford, 
third Duke of ... 

Buckingham, George Villiers, first 
Duke of, and family 

fiuckingham, George Villiers, 
second Duke of 

Bunyan, John .... 

Btirdett, Sir Francis . 

Burghley, William Cecil, first 
Baron ..... 

Burke, Edmund 

Burnet, Gilbert, Bishop of Salis- 
bury ..... 

Burney, Frances, Madame D'Ar- 

Burns, Robert .... 

Burton, Robert 

Bute, John Stuart, third Earl of 

Butler, James : sec Ormonde 

Butler, Joseph, Bishop of Dur- 
ham ..... 

Byng, Admiral George : see Tor- 

Byron, George Gordon, Lord 

Cadogan, William, first Earl . iii 
Camden, Charles Pratt, first Earl iii 
Campbell, Archibald : see Argyll 
Campbell, Thomas . . . iv 
Canning, George . . . iv 
Carey, Henry : see Hunsdon 
Caroline of Brunswick, Queen- 
Consort of George IV . . iv 
Caroline, Queen : sec Wilhelmina 


Carr, Robert : see Somerset 
Carteret, John : see Granvillc 
Gary, Lucius : see Falkland 
Casaubon, Isaac . . . i 
Castlereagh, Viscount : see Lon- 

Cavendish, Georgiana : see 





1 88 






ii 296 







1 68 

1 88 


Cecil, Robert : see Salisbury 
Cecil, William : see Burghley 
Chalmers, Thomas . . . iv 264 
Chantrey, Sir Francis Legatt . iv 200 
Charles I . . . . ii 82 

Charles II . . . . ii 182 
Charles Edward, Prince : see 


Charlotte Augusta of Wales, Prin- 
cess . . . . . iv 88 
Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg- 

Strelitz, Queen - Consort of 

George III . . . . iv 86 
Chatham, William Pitt, first Earl 

of .... .iii 204 
Cherry, Francis . . .iii 20 
Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stan- 
hope, fourth Earl of . . iii no 
Chicheley, Henry, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . . . . i 174 
Churchill, John and Sarah : see 

Clare, John Fitzgibbon, first Earl 

of . . . . . iv 66 
Clarence, George, Duke of . i 100 
Clarendon, Edward Hyde, first 

Earl of . . . . ii 136 

Clinton, Sir Henry . . .iii 198 
Clive, Robert, Baron . . iii 170 

Cobbett, William . . . iv 270 
Coke, Thomas William : see 

Colchester, Charles Abbot, first 

Baron . . . . . iv 240 
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor . . iv 284 
Colet, John . . i 106 

Collingwood, Vice-Admiral Cuth- 

bert, first Baron . . . iv 48 
Compton, Henry, Bishop of 

London . . . . ii 296 
Congreve, William . . .iii 44 

Constable, John . . . iv 196 
Conway, Field-Marshal Henry 

Seymour . . . .iii 198 
Cook, Captain James . . iii 178 
Cooper, Anthony Ashley : see 


Cootc, Sir Eyre . . .iii 184 
Cornwallis, Charles, first Marquis iv 14 
Cornwallis, Admiral the Hon. Sir 

William . . . iv 54 

Courtenay, Edward : see Devon 
Cowper, William . . .iii 244 

Crabbe, George . . . iv 296 
Cranmer, Thomas, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . . . . i 46 




Craven, William, first Earl of . ii 322 

Cromwell, Oliver . . . ii 142 

Cromwell, Richard . . . ii 172 
Cromwell, Thomas : see Essex 
Cumberland, William Augustus, 

Duke of . . .iii 70 

Cutts, John, Lord . . . ii 304 

Dampier, Captain William . .iii 20 
Danby, Earl of : see Leeds 
D'Arblay, Madame : see Burney, 


Darnley, Henry, Lord . . i 150 
Defoe, Daniel . . . ii 260 

Devereux, Robert : see Essex 
Devon, Edward Courtenay, Earl 

of i 178 

Devonshire, Charles Blount, Earl 

of (Lord Mountjoy) . . i 162 
Devonshire, GeorgianaCavendish, 

Duchess of . . . . iv 98 
De Wint, Peter . . . iv 200 
Digby, George and John : see 


Dodsley, Robert . . . iii 252 
Dorset, Thomas Sackville, Lord 

Buckhurst, first Earl of . . i 194 
Drake, Sir Francis . . . i 84 
Dryden, John . . . ii 302 

Dudley, John : see Northumber- 

Dudley, Robert : sec Leicester 
Duncan of Camperdown, Admiral 

Adam, first Viscount . . iv 8 
Dundas, Henry : see Melville 
Dundee, John Graham of Claver- 

house, first Viscount . . ii 244 
Durham, John George Lambton, 

first Earl of . . . . iv 264 

Eden, George and William : see 


Edgeworth, Maria . . . iv 292 
Edward IV . . . i 20 

Edward V . . . . i 22 
Edward VI . . . i 50 

Egremont, George O'Brien 

Wyndham, third Earl of . iv 320 
Eldon, John Scott, first Earl of . iv 210 
Elgin, Thomas Bruce, seventh 

Earl of . . . . iv 320 
Eliot, Sir John . . ii 72 

Eliott, George Augustus : see 


Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia . ii 76 
Elizabeth, Queen of England . i 68 

Elizabeth of York . 
Ellenborough, Edward Law, first 

Baron . . . . . iv 
Elliot, Gilbert : see Minto 
Elphinstone, Admiral Sir George 

Keith : see Keith 
English and Spanish Plenipoten- 
tiaries at Conference in 1604 . i 
Erskine, John : see Mar 
Erskine, Thomas, first Baron . iv 
Essex, Robert Devereux, second 

Earl of .... i 

Essex, Robert Devereux, third 

Earl of . ii 

Essex, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of i 

Evelyn, John . . . ii 

Exmouth, Edward Pellew, first 

Viscount . iv 

I IO2 







Fairfax, Thomas, third Lord, and 

Anne Vere, his wife . . ii 1 26 
Falkland, Lucius Cary, second 

Viscount . . . . ii 120 
Fielding, Henry . . .iii 44 
Fisher, John, Bishop of Roches- 
ter . . . . . i 116 
Fitzalan, Henry : see Arundel 
Fitzgerald, Lord Edward . . iii 184 
Fitzgibbon, John : see Clare 
Fitzroy, James : see Monmouth 
Fitzwilliam, William Wentworth, 

second Earl . . . . iv 340 

F'laxman, John . . . iv 200 

Fletcher, Andrew, of Saltoun .iii 18 

Fletcher, John . . . ii 66 

Forbes, Duncan, of Culloden . iii 12 

Fox, Charles James . . . iv 16 
Fox, Elizabeth Vassall : see Hol- 

Fox, George . . . ii 174 
Fox, Henry : see Holland 

Fox, Richard, Bishop of Winchester i 100 

Foxe, John . . . . i 194 

Francis, Sir Philip . . . iv 72 

Franklin, Sir John . . . iv 274 
Fraser, Simon : see Lovat 

Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales iii 62 

Frere, John Hookham . . iv 300 

Frobisher, Sir Martin . . i 198 

Fry, Elizabeth . . . iv 314 

Gainsborough, Thomas . . iii 262 
Gardiner, Stephen, Bishop (if 

Winchester . . . . i 64 

Garrick, David . . . iii 152 

Gay, John . . . . iii 46 

3 28 


George I . 

George II 

George III 

George IV . : 

Germain, Lord George Sackvillc 

see Sackville 
Gibbon, Edward 
Gillray, James . 
Girtin, Thomas 

Gloucester, Humphry, Duke of 
Godolphin, Sidney, first Earl of 
Goldsmith, Oliver . 
Gordon, George : see Byron 
Graham, James : see Montrose 
Graham, John, of Claverhouse 

see Dundee 

Graham, Thomas : see Lynedoch 
Granby, John Manners, Marquis 


Granville, John Carteret, Earl 

Grattan, Henry 

Gray, Thomas . 

Grenville, Sir Bevil . 

Grenville, George 

Grenville, Richard : see Temple 

Grenville, William Wyntlham 

first Baron . 
Gresham, Sir Thomas 
Greville, Sir Fulke : see Brooke 
Grey, Charles, second Earl 
Grey, Henry : sec Suffolk 
Grey, Lady Jane 
Grindal, Edmund, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . 
Guilford, Frederick North (Lord 

North), second Earl of . 

Hale, Sir Matthew . 

Halifax, Charles Montagu, Earl of 

Halifax, George Savile, Marquis 

of .... 
Halley, Edmund 
Hamilton, Emma, Lady . 
Hampden, John 
Handel, George Frederick . 
Hardy, Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas 

Masterman .... 
Harley, Robert : see Oxford 
Harris, James : sec Malmesbury 
Harvey, William 
Hastings, Francis Rawdon-Hast- 

ings, first Marquis of 
Hastings, Warren 
Hatton, Sir Christopher 
Hawke, Admiral Edward, first 

Baron .... 























. iii 


. iii 


. iv 


. iii 




. iii 

1 06 

. iv 




. iv 

1 80 


5 8 




. iii 

1 06 







. iii 


. iv 




. iii 


. iv 




. iv 


. iv 







Hawkins, Sir John . 
Heathfield, George 
Eliott, first Baron 
Heber, Reginald, Bishop of Cal- 
cutta . . . . . iv 
Henrietta Maria, Queen-Consort 

of Charles I . . . ii 

Henry IV .... i 
Henry V . . . . . i 
Henry VI .... i 
Henry VII .. . . i 
Henry VIII . i 

Henry Frederick, Prince of 

Wales ii 

Hepburn, James : see Bothwcll 
Herbert, George . . . ii 
Herrick, Robert . . ii 

Herschel, Sir William . . iv 
Hill, Rowland, first Viscount . iv 
Hoadly, Benjamin, Bishop of 

Winchester . . . .iii 
Hobbes, Thomas 
Hogarth, William 
Holbein, Hans .... 
Holland, Elizabeth Vassal! Fox, 


Holland, Henry Fox, first Baron 
Holies, Denzil .... 
Holies, Thomas Pelham : see 

Hood, Admiral Alexander : see 

Hood. Admiral Samuel Hood, 

first Viscount . . . iv 
Hood, Thomas . . . iv 

Hooker, Richard . . . i 
Hooper, John, Bishop of Glou- 
cester and Worcester . . i 
Hopton, Sir Ralph, Lord . . ii 
Howard, Charles, of Effingham : 

see Nottingham 

Howard, Katharine . . . i 

Howard, Thomas : see Arundcl 
Howard, Thomas : see Norfolk 
Howard, Lord William, first Lord 

Howard of Effingham . . i 
Howe, Richard, Earl . . iii 

Hughes, Admiral Sir Edward . iii 
Hume, David . . . .iii 
Humphry, Duke : see Gloucester 
Humphry, Sir Davy . . . iv 

Hunsdon, Henry Carey, first Lord i 
Hunter, John . . . .iii 
Huskisson. William . . . iv 
Hyde, Anne : see York 
Hyde, Edward : see Clarendon 

i 164 

111 190 
















1 60 






Ireton, Henry . 

. ii 106 

James I (VI of Scotland) . . ii 
James II ii 

James IV of Scotland . . i 
James V of Scotland . . i 

James Francis Edward, Prince : 

see Stuart 

Jeffrey, Francis, Lord . . iv 
Jeffreys, George, first Baron . ii 
Jenkinson, Robert Banks : sec 


Jenner, Edward . . . iv 
Jervis, Admiral John : see St. 


Jewel, John, Bishop of Salisbury i 
Johnson, Samuel . . .iii 
Jones, Inigo . . . . ii 
Jonson, Ben . . . . ii 
Juxon, William, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . . . . ii 

Katharine of Braganza . . ii 

Katharine of Spain (Arragon) . i 
Kean, Edmund, in A New Way to 

Pay Old Debts . . . iv 

Keats, John . . . . iv 
Keith, George, tenth Earl Mari- 

schal of Scotland . . .iii 
Keith, Admiral Sir George Keith 

Elphinstone, Viscount . . iv 
Ken, Thomas, Bishop of Bath 

and Wells . . . . ii 
Kent and Strathearn, Edward 

Augustus, Duke of . . iv 

Keppel, Augustus, first Viscount iii 

Kneller, Sir Godfrey . . ii 

Knox, John i 

Lamb, Charles and Mary . . iv 

Lamb, William : see Melbourne 

Lambert, John. . . ii 

Lambton, John George : see Dur- 

Langdalc, Sir Marmaduke, first 
Lord . . . . ii 

Lansdowne, William Petty, first 
Marquis of, and second Earl of 
Shelburne . . . . iv 

Latimer, Hugh, Bishop of Wor- 
cester . . . . i 

Laud, William, Archbishop of 
Canterbury . . . . ii 

Lauderdale, John Maitland, first 
Duke of . . . ii 

Law, Edward : sec Ellenborough 







1 60 




1 86 

1 88 







1 06 



Lawrence, Sir Thmas 

Leeds, Thomas Osborne, Earl of 
Danby, and first Duke of 

Leicester, Robert Dudley, Earl of 

Leicester, Thomas William Coke, 
first Earl of . 

Lely, Sir Peter 

Lennox, Charles : see Richmond 

Lenthall, William . 

Leslie, Alexander : see Leven 

Leslie, David : see Newark 

Leven, Alexander Leslie, first 
Earl of .... 

Ligonier, John, first Earl . 

Linacre, Thomas 

Liverpool, Robert Banks Jenkin- 
son, second Earl of 

Locke, John .... 

Londonderry, Robert Stewart, 
second Marquis of. Viscount 
Castlereagh .... 

Lovat, Simon Fraser, twelfth 
Baron ..... 

Lynedoch, Thomas Graham, 
Baron ..... 

Lyttelton, George, first Baron 

Macdonald, Flora 
Mackintosh, Sir James 
Maitland, John : see Lauderdale 
Maitland, William, of Lethington 
Malmesbury, James Harris, first 

Earl of . . . . 

Manners, John : sec Granby 
Mansfield, William Murrav, first 

Earl of . 

Mar, John Erskine, sixtli or 

eleventh Earl of . 
Margaret of Anjou . 
Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scot- 
land ..... 
Marlborough,John Churchill, first 

Duke of .... 
Marlborough, Sarah Churchill, 

Duchess of . 

Marryat, Captain Frederick 
Marten, Henry 
Mar veil, Andrew 

Mary 1 

Mary II 

Mary Queen of Scots 
Mary of Guise .... 
Mary Beatrice of Modena . 
Mary Tudor. Queen of France. 

with Charles Brandon, Duke of 






I 5 6 


9 8 

I6 4 
I 7 6 
1 06 




1 10 






2 7 S 







1 86 

i 1 14 




Melbourne.William Lami, second 

Viscount . . . . iv 
Melville, Henry Dundas, first 

Viscount . . . . iv 
Middleton, Admiral Charles : see 


Milton, John . . . . ii 
Minto, Gilbert Elliot, first Earl of iv 
Monck, George : see Albemarle 
Monmouth, James Fitzroy, Duke 

of . . . ii 

Montagu, Charles : see Halifax 
Montagu, John : see Sandwich 
Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley . iii 
Montrose, James Graham, first 

Marquis of . . . . ii 
Moore, Sir John . . iv 

Moray, James Stewart, Earl of 

(Regent of Scotland) . . i 
More, Hannah . . . iv 

More, Sir Thomas . . . i 
Morland, George . . . iv 
Mountjoy, Lord : see Devonshire 
Murray, John .... 
Murray, William : see Mansfield 





iii 46 

ii 236 

iv 38 

i 142 

iv 314 

i 42 

iv 150 

iv 320 

Nash, Richard (Beau Nash) . iii 62 

Nelson, Horatio, Viscount . iv 2 

Neville, Richard : see Warwick 

Newark, David Leslie, first Lord ii 164 

Newcastle, Thomas Pelham 
Holies, first Duke of 

Newton, Sir Isaac 

Norfolk, Thomas Howard, second 
Duke of .... 

Norfolk, Thomas Howard, third 
Duke of .... 

North, Lord : see Guilford 

Northumberland, Algernon Percy, 
tenth Earl of ... 

Northumberland, John Dudley, 
Duke of .... 

Nottingham, Charles Howard, 
Earl of (Lord Howard of Effing- 
ham) ..... 

Oatcs, Titus .... 

O'Connell, Daniel 

Ogilvy, James : see Seafield 

O'Neill, Hugh : see Tyrone 

Orford, first Earl of : see Walpole, 
Sir Robert 

Orford, fourth Earl of : see Wal- 
pole, Horace 

Ormonde, James Butler, first 

Duke of . . ii iof> 

iii 58 

iii 30 

i 178 

i 182 

ii 320 
i 56 




Osborne, Thomas : see Leeds 
Oxford, Robert Harley, first Earl 

Paget of Beaudesert, AVilliam, 
first Lord .... 

Park, Mungo .... 

Parker, Matthew, Archbishop of 
Canterbury .... 

Parr, Katharine 

Paterson, William . 

Peel, Sir Robert 

Pelham, Henry 

Pellew, Edward : see Exmouth 

Penn, William .... 

Pepys, Samuel 

Perceval, Spencer 

Percy, Algernon : see Northum- 

Petty, William : see Lansdowne 

Picton, Sir Thomas . 

Pitt, William, the elder : see 

Pitt, William, the younger 

Pope, Alexander 

Popham, Admiral Sir Home 

Person, Richard 

Portland, Richard Weston, first 
Earl of .... 

Portland, William Henry 
Cavendish Bentinck, third 
Duke of .... 

Praed, Winthrop Mackworth 

Pratt, Charles : see Camden 

Priestley, Joseph 

Prynne, William 

Pulteney, William : see Bath 

Purcell, Henry 

Pym, John .... 

Raeburn, Sir Henry . 
Raffles, Sir Thomas Stamford . 
Raleigh, Sir Walter . 
Rawdon-Hastings, Francis : see 


Rennie, John .... 
Reynolds, Sir Joshua 
Rich, Robert : see Warwick 
Richard II 
Richard III . 
Richardson, Samuel . 
Richmond and Derby, Margaret 

Beaufort, Countess of . 
Richmond, Charles Lennox, third 

Duke of 

ii 286 

i 128 
iv 50 











1 64 







4 6 




Ridley, Nicholas, Bishop of 

London . . . . i 134 
Rivers, Antony Woodville, second 

Earl . . . . . i 174 
Rochester, John Wilmot, second 

Earl of . . . . ii 206 

Rockingham, Charles Watson 

Wentworth, second Marquis of iii 226 
Rodney, George Brydges, first 

Baron. . . . .iii 192 

Roe, Sir Thomas . . . ii 120 
Romilly, Sir Samuel . . iv 62 

Romney, George . . .iii 262* 
Rooke, Sir George . . . ii 320 
Rupert, Prince . . . ii 154 

Russell, John : see Bedford 
Russell, Lady, Rachel . . ii 186 
Russell, William: see Bedford 





Sackville, Lord George Sackville 

Germain, first Viscount . . iii 
Sackville, Thomas : see Dorset 
Saint-John, Henry : see Boling- 

St. Vincent, Admiral John Jervis, 

Earl of . . . . iv 

Salisbury, Robert Cecil, first Earl 

of . . . ii 

Bancroft, William, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . . . ii 

Sandwich, John Montagu, fourth 

Earl of . . . .iii 

Saunders, Admiral Sir Charles . iii 
Savile, George : see Halifax 
Schomberg, Frederick Herman, 

Duke of . . ii 

Scott, John : see Eldon 
Scott, Sir Walter . . . iv 

Scott, William : see Stowell 
Seafield, James Ogilvy, first Earl 

of . . . . . iii 12 

Selden, John . . . ii 138 

Seymour, Edward : see Somerset 
Seymour, Jane . . . i 124 

Seymour of Sudcley, Thomas, 

Lord . . . . . i 182 
Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley 

Cooper, first Earl of ii 222 

Shakespeare, William . i go 

Sharp, James, Archbishop of St. 

Andrews . . . ii 296 

Shelburne, Earl of : sec Lans- 


Shelley, Percy Bysshe . . iv 132 
Sheridan, Richard Brinslev . iv 62 


Shovell, Sir Cloudisley . . ii 
Shrewsbury, Charles Talbot, 

Duke of . . .iii 

Siddons, Sarah . . . iv 

Sidmouth, Henry Addington, first 

Viscount . . . . iv 
Sidney, Algernon . . . ii 
Sidney, Sir Henry . . i 

Sidney, Sir Philip . . . i 
Smith, Adam . . . .iii 
Smith, Sydney . . . iv 

Smith, Sir Thomas . . . i 
Smith, Admiral Sir William 

Sidney . . . . iv 

Smollett, Tobias George . . iii 
Somers, John, Lord . . . ii 
Somerset, Edward Seymour, 

Duke of . . . i 

Somerset, Robert Carr, Earl of . ii 
Southampton, Henry Wriothes- 

ley, third Earl of . . . i 
Southey, Robert . . . iv 
Spencer, Charles : see Sunder- 

Spencer, John Charles, third 

Earl (Viscount Althorp) . iv 

Spenser, Edmund . . . i 
Stafford, Edward : see Bucking- 

Stanhope, Lady Hester Lucy . 
Stanhope, James, first Earl 
Stanhope, Philip Dormer : see 

Steele, Sir Richard . 
Stephenson, George . 
Sterne, Laurence 
Stewart, James : see Moray 
Stewart, Robert : see London- 

Stowell, William Scott, Lord 
Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, 

first Earl of . 
Stuart, Arabella 
Stuart, Prince Charles Edward 

Louis Philip Casimir 
Stuart, Prince James Francis 

Edward, Chevalier dc St. 

George .... 

Stuart, Henry Benedict Maria 

Clemens, Cardinal York 
Stuart, John : sec Bute 
Suffolk, Charles Brandon, Duke 


with Mary Tudor, Queen of 

France .... 
Suffolk, Henry Grey, Duke of . 





1 86 









1 66 










Sunderlancl, Charles 

third Earl of 
Swift, Jonathan 
Sydenham, Thomas . 





Talbot, Charles : see Shrewsbury 

Tarleton, Sir Banastre 

Taylor, Jeremy 

Telford, Thomas 

Temple, Richard Grenville, Earl 

Temple, Sir William. 

Tenterden, Charles Abbott, first 

Baron ..... 
Thomson, James 
Thurloe, John .... 
Thurlow, Edward, first Baron . 
Tillotson, John, Archbishop of 

Canterbury .... 
Townshend, Charles, second 

Viscount .... 
Townshend, Charles . 
Torrington, Admiral George 

Byng, Viscount 
Troubridge, Rear-Admiral Sir 

Thomas .... 
Tyndale, William 
Tyrone, Hugh O'Neill, second 

Earl of .... 

Ussher, James, Archbishop of 
Armagh .... 

Van Dyck, Sir Anthony . 

Vane, Sir Henry 

Vere, Anne : see Fairfax 

Vere of Tilbury, Sir Horace 
Vere, Lord .... 

Verulam, Lord : see Bacon, 

Villiers, George : see Bucking- 

Wade, Field-Marshal George . iii 
Walpole, Horace, fourth Earl of 

Orford . . . .iii 

Walpole, Sir Robert, first Earl of 

Orford, seated in the studio of 

Francis Hayman, R.A. . . iii 
Walpole, Horatio, first Baron . iii 
Walsingham, Sir Francis . . i 
Walton, Isaac . . . . ii 
Warburton, William, Bishop of 

Gloucester . . . . iii 

1 06 

iii no 
ii 266 





11 242 

iii 4 

iii 62 

iii 76 

iv 54 

i 1 10 

i 188 








Warham, William, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . " . . i 116 

Warton, Thomas . . . iii 164 
Warwick, Richard Neville, Earl 

of i 16 

Warwick, Robert Rich, second 

Earl of . . . ii 106 

Watt, James . . . . iv 158 
Watts, Isaac . . . .iii 164 
Wedgwood, Josiah . . .iii 252 
Wellesley, Richard Colley, 

Marquis . . . . iv 
Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, 

first Duke of . . . iv 

Wentworth, Charles Watson : see 

Wentworth, Thomas : see Straff ord 
Wesley, Charles . . . iii 164 
Wesley, John . . . .iii 160 
Weston, Richard : see Portland 
Whitefield, George . . .iii 20 
Whitgift, John, Archbishop of 

Canterbury . . . i 146 

Wilberforce, William . . iv 314 
Wilhelmina Caroline of Branden- 
burg-Anspach, Queen-Consort 
of George II . . . iii 100 

Wilkes, John . . . . iii 216 
William III . . . ii 250 

William IV . . . . iv 208 
William of Waynflete, Bishop of 

Winchester . . . . i 174 
Williams, Sir William . . ii 236 
Wilmot, John : see Rochester 
Windham, William . . . iv 58 
Wishart, George . . . i 194 
Wolfe, James . . . . iii 68 
Wolsey, Thomas, Cardinal . i 34 

Woodville, Antony : see Rivers 
Woodville, Elizabeth . . i 174 
Wordsworth, William . . iv 278 
Wren, Sir Christopher . . ii 318 
Wriothesley, Henry : see South- 

Wyatt, Sir Thomas . . . i 188 
Wyndham, George O'Brien : see 


Wyndham, William : see Gren- 

York, Anne Hyde, Duchess of . ii 186 
York, Cardinal : see Stuart 
York, Frederick Augustus, Duke 

of . iv 88 


Historical portraits